In the plains of Mamre



Gen.18:1-3, ‘Then the Lord appeared to him by [a]the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, and said, “My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant.’

We remember Mamre as a place where the long silence of the Lord regarding the promise given to Abraham was finally broken. The father of nations was visited by three men here. Abraham gave them a warm welcome, gave them a quick and fresh meal and saw them off. In the process this blessed family was blessed. The fulfillment of the long awaited promise began its fulfillment. These three men represented the Lord’s presence. The response of Abraham to the Lord’s presence is worth taking note of and learning from same.

  • ‘He ran from the tent door to meet them’: The moment Abraham discerned the presence of the Lord in that heat of the day, Abraham, who was sitting till then, got up and ran from the tent door to meet them. He was 99 years old then. The age factor, the weak body nor the heat of the day stopped Abraham from running to welcome the Lord’s presence . This displays the deep love for the Lord’s presence.  Now his only aim was to warmly welcome them. This is what is rejoicing in His presence is, which makes us forget about all other unimportant things of life. It enables us to set our affection for things above and not on the things of the earth (Col.3:2)
  • ‘and bowed himself to the ground,..’ : Abraham worshipped the Lord. Worship is the spontaneous outcome of His presence in our lives. The Lord has promised each of us that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebr.13:5). If we are mindful of this beautiful promise, we will always be in an attitude of worship, which in turn is offering ourselves as living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to the Lord (rom.12:1). Let’s not wait for someone to motivate us to worship the one who is worthy of all our worship always.
  •  ‘and said, “My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant.’ Abraham pleaded the three men not to pass by soon. Once we start experiencing the presence of the Lord, we have the tendency to linger on in the same. Peter experienced the glorious presence of the Lord on the mount with James and John (Mt.17:1-4). Immediately he expressed his desire to continue to be there in that presence of God. One can continue to linger in God’s presence as long as one has the thirst end earnest desire for same. Abraham pleaded for it and so did Peter. And sustaining in His presence till the end is the most challenging phase of one’s faith life.
  • Abraham stood by them : 18:8, ‘So he took butter and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate. Abraham  served the three men of the Lord. He made all the arrangements to offer them food and he himself stood by them as they ate. Standing posture represents attentive service. Just as a waiter in a hotel always stands by his customers and makes sure to supply all that they need, a true servant of God displays continuous attentiveness in his or her service towards the Lord by such a posture. Besides, serving the Lord is yet another spontaneous outcome from a person who rejoices continuously in the Lord’s presence. The very purpose of Abraham pleading them to stay for a while was to serve them. A God’s servant’s passion is to serve unconditionally than to be served.
  •  18:16, ‘Then the men rose from there and looked toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to send them on the way.’  As the men arose to leave after blessing Abraham and Sarah, they were accompanied by Abraham till they reached their way. Just as they were welcomed very warmly, they were also bid good bye in a very warm way. Abraham dealt with the Lord’s presence very well, so much so that he was then treated as God’s friend. The men of the Lord shared the plans of God to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. The way one responds to the presence of the Lord determines one’s way into the heart of the Lord.

In those times, the presence of the Lord visited and departed from the lives of God’s children now and then. But today we have the great blessedness of having His presence with us always. The continuous availability of His presence in our lives today has made most of us undermine the value of the same. But that’s not so. Apostle Paul realized its blessedness greatly and hence he said to rejoice always and always in the Lord (Phil.4:4). Being mindful of this great presence of the Lord transforms our attitude and response to the same. Let’s be reminded of what Abraham did in the plains of Mamre. The realization and right response to God’s presence in the plains of Mamre made Abraham a true servant and a good friend of the Lord. Moreover, the promise for which Abraham and Sarah had been waiting, was  fulfilled soon after this visit of the Lord.

In this chapter of Genesis 18, we see a great difference in the posture of Abraham after v 1. In V 1, we see him sitting. Then we don’t see him in this relaxed posture till the presence of the Lord finally leaves him. In v 2, ‘he ran to meet them’, in v 6, ‘And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah…’, in v 7, ‘And Abraham ran unto the herd…’, in v 8, ‘and he stood by them under the tree…’, in v 16, ‘and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.’   In V 22, ‘but Abraham stood yet before the Lord.’ In V 23, ‘ And Abraham drew near and said,..’. This is what the realization of God’s mighty presence in one’s life does. One can never rest as long as this divine presence rules their lives. Hence, if we are still in relaxed mode, resting in our comfortable zones, lets understand that we have not yet realized His presence in and around us.

Heaven is eagerly looking down upon each of us, waiting for the right response to His presence in our lives on this earth. Our response determines our destiny. Let’s no more ignore this truth and be mindful of the continuous presence of the Lord. This will make us sensitive to His voice, which is needed to discern and choose the right thoughts, words and actions time to time in our life journey. May the Lord strengthen each of us to do so.

God bless us all

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