Genesis 20: A Bunch of Sinners and a Really Gracious God

Posted: February 17, 2011 in Devotionals

Chapter 19 ends with yet another weird incident. After the destruction of Sodom, we’re told one last thing about Lot. Apparently he ended up living in a cave with his two daughters. For some reason, he was afraid to live in the area he fled to from Sodom (19:30). Fair enough, but then things get all weird. Lot’s two daughters come up with a plot to get him drunk in order to have sex with him. Just strange. So much for the fairy tale-ish idea that the people in “Bible times” were all model citizens! Man…part of the point of the Old testament is to highlight how messed up people are because of sin. File that one away. Granted… people aren’t always as bad as they possibly could be. I mean, you’ll even get the odd psycho (no pun intended) who loves his mom…but even on our best days…ALL of us are sinful right down to the core. There’s just no escaping it.

After this brief account, Chapter 20, switches focus to Abraham. And once again Abe let’s his wife be taken by another man. First it was the King of Egypt back in chapter 12, now it’s Abimelech, King of a place called Gerar. Abraham commit’s the same sin of lying to protect his own neck (see 12:10-20). So Sarah ends up at Abimelech’s castle or palace or whatever, and the LORD comes to Abimelech in a dream. He says,

“Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife” Genesis 20:3

 

Whoa! That’s pretty heavy! Thankfully for Abimelech, nothing had happened between him and Sarah. Abimelech pleads for his life. He insists that he is innocent (which he is).

Then notice in verse 6.…it says,

“Then God said to him in the dream. “ Yes I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart and it was I who kept you from sinning against me.” Therefore I did not let you touch her.

 

This is incredible! The reason that Abimelech didn’t do sin against the LORD with Sarah is because the LORD prevented him from it. So…..think about it…Abimelech was bound to sin….doomed to sin had the LORD not intervened. Wow! So it is….with all of us. The only hope we have for overcoming the power and pull of sin is the LORD’s grace and kindness to us. The LORD is crazy gracious! He can and will change people’s hearts so that they love to love and obey him rather than sin.

Yep. So the LORD prevents Abimelech’s sin and Sarah is returned to Abe. No model citizens here, just a bunch of sinners and a really gracious God.

 

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