Genesis Chapter 20: Deja vu all over again

Gen 20:1  And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.

Gen 20:2  And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.

Gen 20:3  But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife.

Gen 20:4  But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?

Gen 20:5  Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.

Gen 20:6  And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.

Gen 20:7  Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.

Gen 20:8  Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid.

Gen 20:9  Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done.

Gen 20:10  And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?

Gen 20:11  And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake.

Gen 20:12  And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.

Gen 20:13  And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother.

Gen 20:14  And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife.

Gen 20:15  And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee.

Gen 20:16  And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved.

Gen 20:17  So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children.

Gen 20:18  For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham’s wife.

I love how the Lord always shows us examples in His Word as we need to learn them.  In the last few chapters we have seen what life is like when we live in fear of the world and our situations.  This world with its backwards philosophy is all around us and sometimes it can seem that, for myself, I can identify with Lot in more ways than Abraham because I often fail more often than not.

Now, as I have placed Abraham at a lofty position in my head and his actions seem so far beyond how I see my interaction with life and the Lord in general, as I lose hope that I could ever follow in the steps of Abraham and figure that my life is just going to be one failure after another in my “lot” in life, God allows me to see a blemish in Abrahams life.

It is a good thing that God didn’t allow Abraham the ability to write his life out for Scripture or without the guiding of the Spirit, because I would imagine that this and a few other episodes wouldn’t be included, because this is something that I can relate to and identify with; utter failure.

We also get to see the proper reaction from Gods people as to how to respond when we do fail and sin.  In this episode we get to see how to react in life when we don’t always act like the perfect Christian and just how God sees us before and after what we consider failure.

Gen 20:1  And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.

Gen 20:2  And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.

Gen 20:3  But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife.

Abraham has journeyed to the south, probably due to his flock needing greener pastures to feed on, as well as the providence of God.  This area is what is now known as the Gaza Strip.  The city of Gerar is on the eastern edge of the area, and at the time was ruled by King Abimilech (My father is king) who was almost certainly an early Philistine settler.  The Gaza Strip makes up the bulk of what was the nation of Philistia.  The Philistines are considered the most noteworthy enemies of Israel down through the ages.  We now know them as Palestinians, which is the Greek word for Philistine.

We see Abraham up to his old tricks again by telling everyone that Sarah is his sister.  We know from earlier episodes that he does this mostly out of fear of his surroundings, because he is afraid that whomever he is dealing with will kill him in order to take Sarah.  In this instance, the King did send for her and took her, not out of force, but as what seems to be an act of trying to build an alliance with Abraham.

We see something interesting in verse 3; we see God speaking to a Pagan King in a dream, and being acknowledged.  God tells Abimilech that he is going to die because he has taken another man’s wife.

Gen 20:4  But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?

Gen 20:5  Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.

Gen 20:6  And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.

Gen 20:7  Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.

The King pleads his innocence and God tells him to restore her.  He tells him that her husband will pray for him and restore his house back into order.  It seems that during this time, none of the women in his concubine were able to have children.

Gen 20:8  Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid.

Gen 20:9  Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done.

Gen 20:10  And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?

Gen 20:11  And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake.

Gen 20:12  And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.

Gen 20:13  And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother.

Again we see a Pagan reprimanding the Lords man; and this won’t be the last time that it happens either.

Gen 20:14  And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife.

Gen 20:15  And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee.

Gen 20:16  And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved.

Gen 20:17  So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children.

Gen 20:18  For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham’s wife.

Here is the difference between Abraham and Lot and the example that we need to follow.  Yes Abraham messed up; yes he acted completely out of fear; fear of his surrounding and his circumstances and it resulted in a lack of faith in what the Lord was doing in his life.

The difference here is that he acknowledged his sin, confessed it, and instead of remaining there in this lowly state, instead of giving in to his fears, he picked himself back up and started walking with the Lord again.  He prays for the King and all is restored; this time though, Abraham is not kicked out of the country.

He didn’t get away scot free though.  Abimielech still gets a dig in:

Gen 20:16  And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved.

Herein is our example: Don’t give up!!!

Yes we WILL fail; we WILL sin and mess up; through fear of whatever has come into our path.  The key is not to believe that our circumstances, situations, or roadblocks are bigger than the One who might have placed us in this situation to begin with.

We might have to live with a little embarrassment, we might be put in our place so to speak from the person that we least expect, but our reactions are what others are watching, and sometimes we are the only “Bible”, or Christian that others may ever see.

Advertisements

About Clint Rodgers

I am a father of 2 wonderful children and the husband of a beautiful woman who has taught me more about compassion for goofballs than I could have ever learned. I have know Jesus for many years but about 5 years ago I truly met Him and now I do my best to follow Him as I walk in this world
This entry was posted in Genesis Bible Study and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s