Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Life of Abraham - Genesis 20

I apologize for being away from publishing for a few days. I had a death in the family that resulted in some necessary family obligations. Even in grief, we truly saw the glory of God manifested over the past few days. I give all praise to Him for getting us through this.

Today we pick up where we left off with Genesis 20. It is a chapter that really doesn’t have a whole lot in it that I can see, but there is still a reason it is here. Once again, Abraham’s wife Sarah was taken from him and Abraham felt the need to lie in order to keep both of them alive. I think this is another place where we can see Abraham’s humanity in his story. You’ll remember that a similar thing happened to Abraham and Sarah when they met the Pharaoh in Egypt. This was in Chapter 12 of Genesis. There Abraham also passed Sarah off as his sister in order to hide the fact that she was his wife.

6 Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her. 7 Now return the man's wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all yours will die." – Genesis 20:6-7

Why would God do this? Well, God’s wanted to show that Abraham was a prophet by making him an example for all nations in the future. Even though this is the second time he had to go through with this, Abraham still struggled with fully trusting God to protect him. Here, he conveniently forgot God’s promise made at most a few months before that he would have a son with Sarah. God was even merciful on Abimelech, preventing him from disaster due to Abraham’s mistake. The important thing to take from this chapter is to remember that Abraham did learn from this instance. Otherwise, he would not be the pillar of faith we see him as.

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