Genesis 18: 1 – 8: Ready to serve.
“The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground. 3 He said, ‘If I have found favour in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way – now that you have come to your servant.’ ‘Very well,’ they answered, ‘do as you say.’ 6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. ‘Quick,’ he said, ‘get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.’ 7 Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.” NIV UK
‘Resting in the afternoon is a normal practice in the East, and don’t forget that Abraham was nearly a hundred years old. Sometimes the most spiritual thing we can do is take a nap!’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘With the Word’, p.28. Wiersbe also makes the point, in his Old Testament Commentary, that few people travelled when the sun was so hot, so Abraham was immediately curious and courteous. ‘Hospitality is the first law of the East, and Abraham faithfully obeyed it.’
God may ‘appear’ to you any ordinary day as you do what you usually do. You may sense Him come close as you sit quietly, or as you contemplate nature. Be alert; be ready. He still ‘visits’ homes. Are you prepared for Him today? Ready to worship; to give Him the reverence He deserves? (2) Will you be quick to respond? (It’s been pointed out that this was an elderly man running around in the heat of the day). Will we be eager to serve Him; to give our absolute best? (3-8). Wiersbe makes the point that although Abraham had 318 servants, He served the Lord personally. He then stood by (8), presumably to be available for further service, if needed.
When asked why he spent so much time doing practical jobs in the church building, one man who had been a works manager, replied, ‘I have a good Master.’
‘All ministry must first be to the Lord, for if we fail to be a blessing to the Lord, we will never be a blessing to others.’ The Wiersbe Bible Commentary (OT), p.76. (See also Colossians 3:24, 25).