The Ides of March! (I apparently only do posts in pairs it seems)
18:1 The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest time of the day. 18:2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing across from him. When he saw them he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
18:3 He said, “My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by and leave your servant. 18:4 Let a little water be brought so that you may all wash your feet and rest under the tree. 18:5 And let me get a bit of food so that you may refresh yourselves since you have passed by your servant’s home. After that you may be on your way.” “All right,” they replied, “you may do as you say.”
I was reading this part in Genesis the other day and it caught me inquistively as to why Abraham had reacted this way to these men. As readers we clearly see at the very beginning that “the Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks” and so we know this to be God. But I wonder how Abraham knew? Was he just given special sight, a sudden divine revelation that this was God and so he should go chase them down and bow down to them? Did Abraham even know? Or is the author merely letting us know that Abraham reacted this way at first just in kindness and generosity but came to know later that this was God? We could claim that Abraham saw the divinity of these men and knew them to be divine, but did he really? And then:
19:1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening while Lot was sitting in the city’s gateway. When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face toward the ground.
19:2 He said, “Here, my lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house. Stay the night and wash your feet. Then you can be on your way early in the morning.” “No,” they replied, “we’ll spend the night in the town square.”
And again it happens. Two angels come and Lot reacts in the same way. Why? He subjects himself as a servant to these two angels, but why? Were they walking around with big wings and halos on their heads? What in Lot, or what in these men, made Lot aware that they were not just men but something more? Or did he know? Is the author just revealing to us that they were angels and Lot got lucky in treating them the right way?
Hmmmmm. I am intrigued.