The Lord appeared to Abraham by the terebinth of Mamre, as he sat in the entrance of his tent, while the day was growing hot. Looking up, Abraham saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them; and bowing to the ground, he said, “Sir, if I may ask you this favor, please do not go on past your servant. Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet, and then rest yourselves under the tree…Let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves; and afterward you may go on your way.” One of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah will then have a son…Is anything too marvelous for the Lord to do?” Genesis 18:1-5, 10, 14
The footnote to this passage identifies the three men as Yahweh and two angels. They came to deliver a message to Abraham.
I would like to share how an angel many years ago came in human form to deliver a message to me. This happened in about 1982.
I was in the big main Ranch house (which is named Ezekiel). I was working in the kitchen there when a blondish curly haired young man (about 22 years old) with cracked, parched lips appeared at the back door. He looked unkempt and tired. This door was rarely used except by those who milked the cows and goats at the time. He walked in and asked, “May I have a glass of water?” I said, “Sure,” and drew a glass of water from the tap for him. The man drank the entire glass of water and then fixed his eyes on me with a look of intensity. He said, “Never, never forget that water is a gift.” He repeated it again, “Never forget that water is a gift.”
With that, he turned and walked out.
For a couple of seconds I stood immobilized by the impact of his words. Then I thought, “Oh I should have offered him some food.” So I called my sister, who lived upstairs, and we hurried outside to call him back to give him some food. He was not there. We could not find him anywhere. The desert is vast where I live. One can see far. He should not have even been to our front gate yet.
We jumped in our car and drove down the road looking for the stranger. He had vanished.
The most important thing here is that this angel had a message — not only for me but for our community and all people. Water is a gift.
People in the world suffer from a lack of water. We must never forget that water is precious, and we should not be wasteful with it. Rather we ought to thank God for such a special commodity. To this day, we share that message in our orientation to people who visit here.
I believe the other important element is written in Hebrews 13:2:
“Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.”