Genesis 18 21 Genesis 18 1 2 Three
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Genesis 18 -21
Genesis 18: 1 -2 “Three men stood by him” These three men were mortals. They had bodies and were able to eat, to bathe, and sit and rest from their weariness. Not one of these was the Lord” (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1: 16). Bruce R. Mc. Conkie said these men were unquestionably the First Presidency of the Church. JST Gen. 18: 23 reads: And the angels which were holy men, and were sent forth after the order of God.
Seventy years of barrenness: It was the crowning jewel to have children and a scab on a woman’s crown if she couldn’t. I testify that having children today is the crowning jewel for us as well! Genesis 18: 14 Is anything to hard for the Lord? Philippian's 4: 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me.
Those who refuse as husbands and wives to have children are proving themselves already too small for the infinitude of God’s creative power (Harold B. Lee, Ye are the Light of the World, 267).
Is Anything to Hard for the Lord? In the mission over which I presided, there was a small branch; it consisted of two families. I had been invited to be the speaker at one of the meetings. I was not accustomed to such small branches; the ward over which I presided had 1, 050 people. That Sunday we went into the place where the Saints met. It was a rented hall. We didn’t meet on the main floor; we met in a room in the basement, about nine people in all. “After the meeting, the branch president asked if he could visit with me. He said, ‘We would like to have a chapel in our branch. ’ I said, ‘Someday, ’ Then he opened a copy of one of the Church magazines and showed me pictures of chapels of Australia and New Zealand. He said, ‘This is the one we would like to build, ’ and he pointed to a building that would house maybe four hundred people, that would cost far more money than they had.
“I said, ‘Oh, you will not be able to afford that until you have several hundred members. ’ He said, ‘We intend to have many hundreds of members. ’ And then he asked me if I would send six missionaries into his branch. He indicated that his family would personally share the gospel with the city, and this he did. “One day, with the missionaries in his little store, he said, ‘Elders, let’s pray. ’ And they got down upon their knees and prayed. This branch president then said, ‘This is the greatest day in the city of St. Thomas. This is the day when the gospel shall really begin to be preached with effectiveness in this city. This is the day when we begin to build our new chapel. ’
“The missionaries asked, ‘Whom are we going to teach? We have no investigators. ’” “The branch president said, ‘Hand me the telephone directory. ’ And he turned to the back of the directory where men of all professions were listed. He said, “If we are going to build a new chapel, we need an architect who is a Mormon. And since we don’t have an architect who is a member of this branch, we must convert one. ’ Then he went down the list and said, ‘Who shall be the first Mormon architect in St. Thomas? ’ And he identified a name. Then he continued with a contractor or builder, and a plumber, and an electrician, and a doctor, and a lawyer. Then he personally went to each and invited him into his home so that the missionaries might present the message and his family could bear testimony after the missionaries had given their message.
“What was the result of that sharing? I am God’s witness that in the three years that I served in eastern Canada, I saw that branch grow from two families to a branch of almost three hundred members. They constructed their beautiful chapel. I attended the meeting where that building held perhaps four hundred persons. What was the secret? It was the attitude ‘we can achieve our goal’” (Monson, Conference Report, Amsterdam Netherlands Area Conference 1976, 8 -9).
Genesis 18: 13 “Sarah laughed” Often in the scriptures the servants of the Lord are astonished beyond belief at the miraculous goodness of the Lord. It was the incredible nature of the news that caused Sarah’s response. And after approximately seventy years of childlessness, who could condemn her temporary inability to believe the joyous promise? In Hebrew “laugh” means to express merriment or scorn, or to mock or make sport. By the way, “Isaac” means laughter in Hebrew!
Genesis 18: 16 -33 “The Power of a Righteous Life” v. 19 Our families are the most important stewardships that we will ever have! President Kimball said: “Abraham’s desire to do God’s will in all things led him to preside over is family in righteousness. Despite all his other responsibilities, he knew that if he failed to teach and exemplify the gospel to his children he would have failed to fulfill the most important stewardship he had received” (“The Example of Abraham, ” Ensign, June 1975, 5).
Abraham as a Type or Shadow of Christ 1. Known as the father of the faithful (Doctrine & Covenants 138: 41) 2. All nations of the earth blessed through him (Abraham 2: 9) 3. Mediator between God and man (Genesis 18: 20 -33) 4. Believers are known as his children or seed (Galatians 3: 29) 5. Offered by his father as a sacrifice (Abraham, Fac. 1) 6. Comforted by an angel in his greatest hour of need (Abraham 1: 15) 7. Shares the blessings of his covenant with all who accept the gospel (Genesis 11: 31; 17: 18; Abraham 2: 15)
An Interview with the Savior President David O. Mc. Kay In 1965, President David O. Mc. Kay made the following statement to a group of Church Employees: “Let me assure you, Brethren, that one day you will have a personal priesthood interview with the Savior himself. If you are interested, I will tell you the order in which he will ask you to account for your earthly responsibilities.
“First, he will request an accountability report about your relationship with your wife. Have you actively been engaged in making her happy and ensuring that her needs have been met as an individual? “Second, he will want an accountability report about each of your children individually. He will not attempt to have this for simply a family stewardship but will request information about your relationship to each and every child. “Third, he will want to know what you personally have done with the talents you were given in the preexistence.
“Fourth, he will want a summary of your activity in your Church assignments. He will not be necessarily interested in what assignment you have had, for in his eyes the home teacher and a mission president are probably equals, but he will request a summary of how you have been of service to your fellow man in your Church assignments. “Fifth, he will have no interest in how you earned your living but if you were honest in all your dealings. “Sixth, he will ask for an accountability on what you have done to contribute in a positive manner to your community, state, country, and the world. ” (Reported by Cloyd Hofheins in a talk to the seventies quorum of Provo Utah Oak Hills Stake, May 16, 1982)
Genesis 18: 22 -33 “ 50, 45, 40, 30, 20, 10” v. 32 I will not destroy it for ten’s sake. What do we learn? Lot’s family equaled more than ten. Abraham learned that Lot’s family was not righteous.
Genesis 19: 8 -14 Why did Lot offer his daughters to the wicked Sodomites? He didn’t! (JST 19: 9 -15) What was the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah? Extremely immoral, engaging in homosexuality and other abuses, pride and an abundance of idleness. Sodom and Gomorrah not only had partaken of the filthiness of sexual immorality but had rejected their fellowmen in need. Joseph Smith taught that a sign of a wicked society was they don’t take care of the poor.
The Sins of Sodom and Gomorrah At different times President Spencer W. Kimball has talked about the seriousness of sexual sins. “It is the sin of the ages…. It was tolerated by the Greeks. It was the prevalent sin decaying Rome. The ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are symbols of wretched wickedness more especially related to this perversion, as the incident of Lot’s visitors indicates” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, 1969, 78).
“This is a most unpleasant subject to dwell upon, but I am pressed to speak of it boldly so that no youth in the Church will ever have any question in his mind as to the illicit and diabolical nature of this perverse program. Again Lucifer deceives and prompts logic and rationalization which will destroy men and make them servants of Satan forever… “’God made me that way, ’ some say, as they rationalize and excuse themselves for their perversions. ‘I can’t help it, ’ they add. This is blasphemy. Is man not made in the image of God, and does he think God to be ‘that way’? Man is responsible for his own sins. It is possible that he may rationalize and excuse himself until the groove is so deep he cannot get out without great difficulty, but this he can do. Temptations come to all people. The difference between the reprobate and the worthy person is generally that one yielded and the other resisted. It is true that one’s background may make the decision and accomplishment easier or more difficult, but if one is mentally alert, he can still control his future. That is the gospel message --- personal responsibility.
“And now my dear young people, I have spoken frankly and boldly against the sins of the day. Even though I dislike such a subject, I believe it necessary to warn the youth against the onslaught of the arch tempter who, with his army of emissaries and all the tools at his command, would destroy all the youth of Zion” (President Kimball Speaks Out on Morality, ” New Era, Nov. 1980, 43 -44). “Again, contrary to the belief and statements of many people, this sin, like fornication, is over-comable and forgivable, but again, only upon a deep and abiding abandonment and complete transformation of thought and act. ”
Genesis 19: 15 -17 Why would Lot linger? It was difficult for him to leave his family. Father Lehi would understand his plight. Escape to where Abraham is, the mountain, the Temple, lest thou be consumed (v. 17).
Genesis 19: 26 “But his wife looked back” There are two indications in the scriptures that the phrase “looked back” was an idiomatic way of saying “she turned back” or “returned to Sodom. ” The implication is that Lot’s wife started back to Sodom, perhaps to save some possessions, and was caught in the destruction.
Many scholars agree that the most probable site of Sodom is now covered by the southern part of the Dead Sea, a body of water with a high salt content. If Lot’s wife returned to Sodom, she would have been caught in the destruction. Her becoming a pillar of salt could be a figurative way of expressing this outcome. But whatever it was that happened to Lot’s wife, it is clear that she perished.
Genesis 19: 30 -38 They did what? The account of the incestuous seduction of Lot by his two daughters is a shocking one but one which, again, illustrates that the Old Testament records the evils of the people as well as their righteousness. There is no way to justify the wickedness of what the two daughters did, though they may have thought the world had come to an end. Moses may have included this account in the record because it shows the beginnings of the Moabites and the Ammonites, two peoples that would play an important role in the history of the people of Israel. Moses may have included this account to teach the evils of alcohol.
Genesis 21: 12 “For in Isaac shall thy seed be called” Hebrews 11: 17 -19 Jacob 4: 5 Abraham believed God and knew that if he did offer the sacrifice that God would raise Isaac from the dead!