We want to continue our fellowship concerning the humanity of Christ in the prophecy concerning the eternal economy of God. This message presents Christ appearing as a man four times in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament Christ was prophesied as a man, particularly in four cases. First, Christ as a man in His humanity visited His friend, Abraham (Gen. 18). Second, Christ as a man in His humanity wrestled with Jacob, a heel-holder (Gen. 32). Third, Christ as a man in His humanity met Joshua, the general of God’s army, to fight not only for Israel but for the carrying out of God’s eternal economy (Josh. 5:13-15). Fourth, Christ as a man in His humanity came purposely to the wife of a common man by the name of Manoah to tell her that she would bring forth a son by the name of Samson to fight for Israel (Judg. 13). Samson would fight the Philistines, signifying a people between the world and religion, who greatly disrupted the carrying out of God’s economy on this earth. It is hard to find out the reason why Christ appeared as a man in these four cases. I want us to notice the following phrase which is written four times in the outline of this message: for the carrying out of God’s economy. In order to carry out God’s economy, Christ needs to be a man.
God became Abraham’s friend. If God would have visited Abraham as God, this would have frightened Abraham. As God He could not become friends with man. If God came as God to be friends with us, we would run away. In our crystallization-study of Song of Songs, we saw that God came as a "country man" in order to court a "country girl." One day God came to visit Abraham, not as God, but as a man.
Christ was Jehovah, but He came to Abraham as a man with two angels (Gen. 18:1-3, 9-14, 16-18, 22, 33; 19:1). Abraham might have wondered who this One was who came as a guest to his tent. He provided Him with water for foot-washing and asked his wife to prepare a meal for Him (18:4-8). As God He would not have needed to wash His feet or to eat. He told Abraham that his wife Sarah would bring forth a son in the next year (vv. 9-15). At that time Abraham was about one hundred years old (Rom. 4:19), and Sarah’s age prevented her from bearing children. However, there was One who told Abraham that He would come back and that Sarah would have a son. Actually, the birth of the son would be His coming back (Gen. 18:10).
Considering that Abraham would become a great nation to be the kingdom of God on the earth for the carrying out of God’s economy, Christ told Abraham as His friend (James 2:23; 2 Chron. 20:7; Isa. 41:8) that He would judge the sinful Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18:16-21). Abraham prayed to Jehovah for Sodom; actually, his prayer was for his nephew, Lot, who made his home in Sodom (vv. 22-33), and Jehovah answered him by rescuing Lot from the destruction of Sodom (19:1-29).
(Crystallization-Study of the Humanity of Christ, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)