Fire and brimstone destroy the sinners of Sodom and Gomorrah (19:24) as well as consume Lot's wealth. God not only blessed Sarah, but also Hagar and Ishmael.
And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister . . . . 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. But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation? (Gen. 20:2-4).
The focus of today's reading is upon a repeat of a situation that happened in the Scripture before. By faith, Abram left his homeland and journeyed to the new land of promise. Much to our surprise, when the father of the faithful was faced with famine, he forsook the land where God had told him to live and went to the well-watered land of Egypt (12:10). We are a little surprised by Abram's deception in telling the Egyptians that Sarai was his (half) sister, rather than say she was his wife, just so his life would be spared (12:12-17).
About a quarter of a century later, this event was repeated, when Abraham went to live with the Philistines in Gerar. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah (20:2).
It is difficult to understand why Abram would tell a “half truth” to protect himself after God had already told him: Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield (15:1).
Throughout the Scriptures, God reveals His mercy and patience. He tenderly and patiently leads us from sin and self-seeking and shows us that enjoyment of life is the result of integrity in all circumstances. This shows us that at times even the faith of the strongest believer can become weak. At times we will find our faith to be shaken because of worldly circumstances.
But, praise the Lord, God, who is merciful and long-suffering, is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think (Eph. 3:20). God in mercy once again strengthened Abraham to see himself as a powerful prophet who prayed for God to bless this heathen nation (20:7,17).
The most valuable lesson we can learn from these verses is to speak the truth. Lies and deception will only cause us to fall deeper into the pit of sin. Therefore, let us always tell the truth so we can totally avoid the sin of deception.
Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come (John 16:13).
Thought for Today:
We should be careful to make decisions based on the authority of the Word of God.
By Isaac, the promised son of the Covenant of God (Gen. 21:12). Faith in Christ sets us free from the bondage of the Law because God made a new Covenant through Christ (Matt. 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; I Cor. 11:25; also Heb. 12:24).
19:3 pressed upon = urged them; 19:5 know, rape and abuse; 19:8 shadow, protection; 19:13 is waxen, has become; 20:6 suffered, allowed; 20:16 a covering of the eyes, compensation; 21:18 hold him in thine hand, take care of him.
Pray for Staff: Kevin Jennings • Government Officials: Rep. Loretta Sanchez (CA), Rep. Jeff D. Duncan (SC), Sen. Rand Paul (KY), and Sen. John Thune (SD) • Country: Mauritania (2.6 million) in western Africa • Major language: Hasaniya Arabic • Islamic state with no mission work allowed • 99+% Muslim (predominantly Sunni); .2% Christian (predominantly foreigners) • Prayer Suggestion: Unite with others in prayer; God will bring your request to pass (Matt. 18:19-20).
Optional Reading: >Matthew 7
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 100:1-2