Thursday 29 October, 2015

Genesis 20:1-7

20 Abraham moved south into the Negev Desert. He lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar. 2 There Abraham said about his wife Sarah, “She’s my sister.” Then Abimelek, the king of Gerar, sent for Sarah and took her. 3 So God appeared to Abimelek in a dream one night. He said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken. She is already married.” 4 But Abimelek hadn’t gone near her. So he said, “Lord, will you destroy a nation that hasn’t done anything wrong? 5 Didn’t Abraham say to me, ‘She’s my sister’? And didn’t she also say, ‘He’s my brother’? I had no idea I was doing anything wrong.” 6 Then God spoke to him in the dream. He said, “Yes, I know you had no idea you were doing anything wrong. 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 to him. He is a prophet. So he will pray for you, and you will live. But what if you do not return her? Then you can be sure that you and all your people will die.”

He’s done it again! Abraham telling half-truths to the people around him about his wife. The last time it was in Egypt (see Ainsley Wood’s insightful blog on Genesis 12:10-20 on 10th Oct) and this time it’s in Gerar.

It seems to me that, because of the evil nations around him, Abraham had only two options:

Option 1- say “Sarah is my wife”, get killed and Sarah is taken.

Option 2 – say “Sarah is my sister”, don’t get killed and Sarah is taken.

There’s no good options here – either way Sarah is taken. Abraham, the Father of Faith is also a pragmatic man of action.

So why tell the half truth? Why not tell the whole truth and let God protect him and his wife? Was it to protect his own life like the last time? Was it to protect God’s promise of the couple having a baby within the next 12 months? (See Gen 18:10)

Maybe Abraham did it again because it worked a treat last time. Both times God came through for him. And did abundantly more than Abraham could have imagined (see tomorrow’s passage for the compensation pay out!)

Here’s what I get from all this – Gods promises are unshakeable.  They are immovable and unbreakable. He is before all time and all time bows in humble submission to Him. If He promises something to us it is written in a way that no circumstance will ever be able to touch it, no matter how devastating.  Such is the immutable, unwavering, inconceivably great love and power and promise of God. May His name be forever praised!   Amen

Written by Boudy vanNoppen

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