Genesis 18:14
Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Is anything too hard for the Lord?—Heb., Is anything too wonderful for Jehovah? At last it is made evident that the travellers are messengers from God; but until this declaration, there could have been, at most, only a dim feeling that the visitation was more than human. Though the angel does not claim for himself divinity, yet the narrator prefixes to his words, And Jehovah said. In some ineffable way there was an identity between Jehovah and the angel.

18:9-15 Where is Sarah thy wife? was asked. Note the answer, In the tent. Just at hand, in her proper place, occupied in her household concerns. There is nothing got by gadding. Those are most likely to receive comfort from God and his promises, who are in their proper place, and in the way of their duty, Lu 2:8. We are slow of heart to believe, and need line upon line to the same purport. The blessings others have from common providence, believers have from the Divine promise, which makes them very sweet, and very sure. The spiritual seed of Abraham owe their life, and joy, and hope, and all, to the promise. Sarah thinks this too good news to be true; she laughed, and therefore cannot as yet find in her heart to believe it. Sarah laughed. We might not have thought there was a difference between Sarah's laughter and Abraham's, ch. 17:17; but He who searches the heart, saw that the one sprung from unbelief, and the other from faith. She denied that she had laughed. One sin commonly brings in another, and it is not likely we shall strictly keep to truth, when we question the Divine truth. But whom the Lord loves he will rebuke, convict, silence, and bring to repentance, and if they sin before him.The promise to Sarah. The men now enter upon the business of their visit. "Where is Sarah thy wife?" The jealousy and seclusion of later times had not yet rendered such an inquiry uncourteous. Sarah is within hearing of the conversation. "I will certainly return unto thee." This is the language of self-determination, and therefore suitable to the sovereign, not to the ambassador. "At the time of life;" literally the living time, seemingly the time of birth, when the child comes to manifest life. "Sarah thy wife shall have a son." Sarah hears this with incredulous surprise, and laughs with mingled doubt and delight. She knows that in the nature of things she is past child-bearing. "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" Sarah laughed within herself, within the tent and behind the speaker; yet to her surprise her internal feelings are known to him. She finds there is One present who rises above the sphere of nature. In her confusion and terror she denies that she laughed. But he who sees what is within, insists that she did laugh, at least in the thought of her heart. There is a beautiful simplicity in the whole scene. Sarah now doubtless received faith and strength to conceive.

Verse 16-33

The conference concerning Sodom. The human manner of the interview is carried out to the end. Abraham convoys his departing guests. The Lord then speaks, apparently debating with himself whether he shall reveal his intentions to Abraham. The reasons for doing so are assigned. First. Abraham shall surely become a nation great and mighty, and therefore has the interest of humanity in this act of retribution on Sodom. All that concerns man concerns him. Second. Blessed in him shall be all the nations of the earth. Hence, he is personally and directly concerned with all the dealings of mercy and judgment among the inhabitants of the earth. Third. "I have known him." The Lord has made himself known to him, has manifested his love to him, has renewed him after his own image; and hence this judgment upon Sodom is to be explained to him, that he may train his household to avoid the sins of this doomed city, "to keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; and all this to the further intent that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what he hath spoken of him." The awful judgments of the Lord on Sodom, as before on the antediluvian world, are a warning example to all who are spared or hear of them. And those who, notwithstanding these monuments of the divine vengeance, will cease to do justice and judgment, may be certain that they will not continue to enjoy the benefits of the covenant of grace. For all these reasons it is meet that the secret of Lord be with him Psalm 25:11.

12. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself—Long delay seems to have weakened faith. Sarah treated the announcement as incredible, and when taxed with the silent sneer, she added falsehood to distrust. It was an aggravated offense (Ac 5:4), and nothing but grace saved her (Ro 9:18). Is any thing too hard for the Lord? Heb. Hid from God? So the sense is: Though she laughed only in her heart, it is not unknown to me. Or rather, too wonderful for God to effect? Which best suits with the following words. Is anything too hard for the Lord?.... Whose power is infinite; or "too wonderful" (x), so wonderful and beyond all belief, that it can never be thought it will be done by him; and why then should it be thought incredible or impossible that Sarah should have a child, though she is old? Or, is "anything hidden from the Lord" (y)? Nothing can be, not Sarah's laughter.

At the time appointed will I return to thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son; which words are repeated not merely for the confirmation of Abraham's faith, which staggered not, but to remove Sarah's unbelief, and to encourage her faith in the divine promise.

(x) "nunquid mirabile vel mirificabitur", Munster, Piscator, Schmidt. (y) "Nunquid abscondetur", Pagninus, Cartwright; "an potest occultari", Junius & Tremellius, Fagius; so the Targum of Jonathan and Aben Ezra.

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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. too hard for the Lord] Lit., as marg, wonderful. The LXX rendering μὴ ἀδυνατεῖ παρὰ τῷ θεῷ ῥῆμα finds an echo in St Luke 1:37. Compare Jeremiah 32:17, “Ah! Lord God! behold, thou hast made, the heaven and the earth by thy great power …: there is nothing too hard for thee.”

He who thus speaks of Jehovah, is Himself Jehovah. Cf. Genesis 16:11, Genesis 19:13.Verse 14. - Is any thing too hard for the Lord? Literally, Is any word too wonderful, i.e. impossible, for Jehovah μὴ ἀδυνατήσει παρὰ τῷ θεῷ ῤῆμα (LXX.), with which may be compared Luke 1:37. At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life (vide supra, Ver. 10), and Sarah shall have a son. When the three men had accepted the hospitable invitation, Abraham, just like a Bedouin sheikh of the present day, directed his wife to take three seahs (374 cubic inches each) of fine meal, and back cakes of it as quickly as possible (עגּות round unleavened cakes baked upon hot stones); he also had a tender calf killed, and sent for milk and butter, or curdled milk, and thus prepared a bountiful and savoury meal, of which the guests partook. The eating of material food on the part of these heavenly beings was not in appearance only, but was really eating; an act which may be attributed to the corporeality assumed, and is to be regarded as analogous to the eating on the part of the risen and glorified Christ (Luke 24:41.), although the miracle still remains physiologically incomprehensible.
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