GENESIS 18:2a -- GOD'S BODYGUARDS?
The first thing that caught my attention about this verse is how God appeared to Abraham. Yesterday I wrote about the where: that God appeared to him in the wilderness. Today, verse 2 notes the how: that the appearance came in the form of three men.
"Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby." (Genesis 18:2a).
Why does God appear as 3 men? Why travel in threes? Honestly, I have no idea. I wanted to read some respected Bible commentaries and see what they had to say about it. And I will do that. But first I wanted to get my own thoughts down so I don't just regurgitate what they think. So for now it will just have to remain for me one of those great Bible mysteries.
If you jump ahead to verse 22 it says that 2 of the men left and Abraham remained standing before God. So God chose to travel in threes but it appears only one of the men was actually God. That makes sense. Still it is fascinating to try and figure out why He needed 2 other men to come along with him. I don't think of God as someone who needs bodyguards. When the 2 men leave they go on to do some dirty work, that bodyguards might do, in Sodom which happens in chapter 19 and there they are referred to as angels.
Okay, now that I have joked about God needing bodyguards (clearly He does not), I did do some reading of Bible commentaries on this section of Genesis. Most of those who have written about it don't seem as interested in the threesome as I do. And that may simply be because it is further elaborated upon in later verses. It is not that it troubles me. If the Bible says God appeared to Abraham than I believe He did. And if the Bible says three men appeared to Abraham, then I believe they did. It is more of a fascination about why there were 3. Some speculate they are a reference to the trinity: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Maybe. Ultimately I am not sure it matters. And when we get to heaven some day we can ask God (or Abraham) about it.