Coachlight Bible Study – Genesis Lesson 30 – Genesis Chapter 18

Prayer of Intersession


Not long after the renewal of the covenant by a glorious theophany in chapter 17, Abraham has another visit from God.  This time it is not God appearing in His glory, but was the appearance of a man and two friends traveling through Hebron in the heat of the day.  The context of chapters 18 and 19 show us that the other two men were angels, who were later sent to Sodom and Gomorrah to bring God’s judgment on those wicked cities.  The Leader of the two angels could only be God almighty – Jesus Christ before His Incarnation.


I.  The Covenant Renewed – (Genesis 17) – Now, 13 years after the trouble with  Hagar, Abraham is 99 years old. These 13 years were undoubtedly spent in waiting on the Lord. Now the Lord reveals Himself to Abraham again.

A. El Shaddai – “I am the Almighty God.” first mention   root “power and ability.”

1. New Responsibility – “Walk before Me and be thou perfect.” (Maybe a hint that Abraham was satisfied with Ishmael and no longer anxious about the seed of promise?)

2. Result – “Abraham fell on his face.”

3. Privilege – “God talked with him.”

4. Assurance – “My covenant is with thee.” God reminds Abraham of an already existent covenant and then continues by adding some more of the up coming events of this new covenant.

5. Promises of this new revelation (vs. 4-8).

a. Abraham himself.

b. The land.

c. His seed.

6. Comparison of growth in events.

a. chapter 13 – “As the dust of the earth.”

b. chapter 15 – “As the stars of heaven.”       

c. chapter 17 – “Many nations.”

B. Requirements – (vs. 9-14) – Abraham is now told his part in the matter.  Notice what he had to do was to obey God’s Word. This is another illustration that shows God’s covenant is one sided. God is the giver; man is the receiver, not the equal. There seems to be four ideas associated with the ordinance of circumcision:

1. Designation – as belonging to God.

2. Separation – unto him.

3. Believing His Word

4. Possession by Him – (lead by the Spirit.)

C. Sign of the covenant – circumcision – Abraham’s sign of obedience to God’s Word. The church is also called obedience by the Abrahamic Covenant because we are children of Abraham. The Apostle Paul tells us:


“Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children

of Abraham.” (Galatians 3:7)

1. The Apostle Paul also tells us concerning circumcision, and how the Gospel of Christ calls us to circumcision. Speaking of Christ he writes:


Colossians 2:9-12. “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”


2. The Apostle Paul not only tells us that we are justified by faith just like Abraham, but that Abraham was also preached the same gospel.


Galatians 3:8, 9 “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.”.


D. Further Revelation – (vs. 15, 16) – Not only Abraham’s, but also his wife’s

name is now changed.

1. Abram means “exalted father,’ – whereas Abraham means “father of a


2. Sarah means “queen of princes” or “mother of princes” and is the

feminine of Sar, whereas Sarai means, “princely.”

3. Now is the first time Sarah is named as the Mother of the promised

seed. God’s promises become more detailed as time goes on.

E. Abraham’s immediate response – (vs. 17, 18) – He receives the new revelation of God with reverence, and yet we can detect a little trustful astonishment.

1. Appeal for Ishmael – Ishmael has grown to be a boy of 13 and naturally won a spot in his father’s heart.

2. God told Abraham that Ishmael was not the promised seed.

3. God promised Abraham that Ishmael would become a great nation.

F. The Obedience Of Abraham – When this period of communication with God ended, Abraham acted in obedience in the circumcision of Ishmael, all his house, and those bought with money.

II. The Ministry Of Intercession – (Chapter 18) One of the most important and blessed factors of a believer’s walk is the duty of intercession.


Genesis 18:1 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;

Genesis 18:2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,

Genesis 18:3 And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:

Genesis 18:4 Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:

Genesis 18:5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said. {comfort: Heb. stay} {are…: Heb. you have passed}

Genesis 18:6 And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth. Genesis 18:7 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.

Genesis 18:8 And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

Genesis 18:9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.

Genesis 18:10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.

Genesis 18:11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.

Genesis 18:12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

Genesis 18:13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?

Genesis 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

Genesis 18:15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.

Genesis 18:16 And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.

Genesis 18:17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;

Genesis 18:18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

Genesis 18:19  For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

Genesis 18:20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;

Genesis 18:21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.

Genesis 18:22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.

Genesis 18:23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

Genesis 18:24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?

Genesis 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

Genesis 18:26 And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.

Genesis 18:27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes:

Genesis 18:28 Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.

Genesis 18:29 And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty’s sake.

Genesis 18:30 And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.

Genesis 18:31 And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake.

Genesis 18:32 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.

Genesis 18:33 And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.


A. Fellowship With God

1. The Appearance of Jehovah – God once again appeared to Abraham. only this time not in a dream or vision, but in person along with two angels.

2. Abraham’s hospitality – God and the angels had the appearance of men.

Abraham washed their feet, killed a calf, Sarah cooked dinner for them

and they “did eat.”

B. The Promise Repeated The question: “Where is Sarah, thy wife?” showed that the travelers knew her name and the words that followed told him who the speaker was. (vs. 10)

1. The Lord told Abraham that Sarah would have a son.

2. Sarah, overhearing them, laughed at the thought of a 90 years old woman having a baby.

3. God heard Sarah laugh and spoke these tremendous Words: “Is anything too hard {06381} for the Lord?”


06381 alp pala’ paw-law’ - a primitive root; TWOT-1768; v

AV-(wondrous, marvellous...) work 18, wonders 9, marvellous 8, wonderful 8, ...things 6, hard 5, wondrous 3, wondrously 2, marvellously 2, performing 2, misc 8; 71


Translated “wonderful in Isaiah 9:6


C. God’s confidence in Abraham – (vs. 16-19) God’s friends are permitted to know God’s secrets… because they are God’s friends.

D. The secret told to Abraham – (vs. 20, 21) – The Lord told Abraham that He

and the angels had come down to earth to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

1. Going to be destroyed because “their sin is very grievous.”

2. The sin of homosexuality never has been tolerated by God and never will be

E. Abraham’s Intercession – He was not so much concerned about Sodom, but with the vindication of God’s character. On this we read: Shall the judge of all the earth, do right?”

1. Abraham was confused that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah would involve the death of the righteous, as well as the wicked.

2. Abraham did the right thing. He told God about it.

F. God’s Encouragement – Each time, the prayer had a divine response: “And the Lord said,” God’s Word is the compliment and response to our petitions.

1. “If I find… I will spare.” – If God could find 50 righteous, He would spare the place “For their sakes.” God’s response showed Abraham that there is power and influence in asking God.

2. Deep Humility – (vs. 27) – Abraham used a meiosis, a belittling of one thing to magnify another.

3. “Peradventure there should lack five of the righteous…” Six times Abraham intercedes for the wicked cities. Persistence in prayer is one of the most important teachings. (Romans 12:12) Six times God responded – it is always that way. God responds as long as we ask. Notice the progression:


“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”  Matthew 7:7, 8


5. Abraham’s Limitation probably stopped out of ignorance.

a. Ignorance of the extent of Sodom’s sin.

b. Ignorance of the extent of God’s longsuffering and mercy.

c. Abraham thought he knew 10 righteous people in Sodom

1. Lot, his wife, and their two sons (Genesis 19:12)

2. Their two married daughters and their husbands (Genesis 19:14)

3. Their two unmarried daughters (Genesis 19:8)

c. It has been said, “Abraham stopped asking before God stopped giving.

d. Our Lord’s pleading on our behalf knows no limitation:


“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25


F. Lot’s Preservation – Directly connected with Abraham’s intercession. Abraham saved his nephew twice:

1. Once by the sword – chapter 15

2. Once by supplication – chapter 18