1 The Lord appeared again to Abraham near the oak grove belonging to Mamre. One day Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest part of the day. 2 He looked up and noticed three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran to meet them and welcomed them, bowing low to the ground.Genesis 18:1-15, NLT
3 “My lord,” he said, “if it pleases you, stop here for a while. 4 Rest in the shade of this tree while water is brought to wash your feet. 5 And since you’ve honored your servant with this visit, let me prepare some food to refresh you before you continue on your journey.”
“All right,” they said. “Do as you have said.”
6 So Abraham ran back to the tent and said to Sarah, “Hurry! Get three large measures of your best flour, knead it into dough, and bake some bread.” 7 Then Abraham ran out to the herd and chose a tender calf and gave it to his servant, who quickly prepared it. 8 When the food was ready, Abraham took some yogurt and milk and the roasted meat, and he served it to the men. As they ate, Abraham waited on them in the shade of the trees.
9 “Where is Sarah, your wife?” the visitors asked.
“She’s inside the tent,” Abraham replied.
10 Then one of them said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!”
Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent. 11 Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children. 12 So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?”
13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15 Sarah was afraid, so she denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh.”
But the Lord said, “No, you did laugh.”
18 But the words you speak come from the heart-that’s what defiles you. 19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying and slander. 20 These are what defile you.Matthew 15:18-20 – The words of Jesus
12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.Psalm 19:12, 14
- Jesus traces the words we speak back to our hearts. He desires us to become aware of why we say the things we say. Take some time to reflect on this past week and the words that you have spoken. Through prayer, invite God into the dark corners of your heart. Repent for words spoken that do not reflect God’s heart.
- Sarah was caught. Her words reflected a heart of unbelief and a fundamental lack of trust in God. She didn’t believe that God would do what he said he would do, but even more, she didn’t trust him with her doubt. Through prayer, take some time to confess your doubts to God. Trust him as you would your favorite confidant. Ask him to provide and intervene on your behalf.
- These three passages are taken from three distinctive genres of literature in the Bible: Old Testament history, poetry, and the Gospel accounts. Through narrative, reflective and imperative writing, we are taught that our hearts need to be refined. Take a moment and pray the words of Psalm 19. Confess God as your Rock and Redeemer, who knows all things, even what you do not know about your own heart.