Lessons From The Father Of Our Faith


Genesis 20

I find Abraham one of the most interesting characters in the Bible.  He is the Father of our Faith.  He’s in Hebrews 11 “Hall of Faith”.  He was obedient on Mount Moriah (Gen 22).  And yet, it’s not the most graceful walk towards faith; he seems to fumble forward in faith.   

Abraham left us a number of poor examples, the most well known being the child, Ishmael, he had with Hagar, his wife’s servant.  In Genesis 20 we see another example and it leaves me in awe of God.

You might remember that there are two times in Genesis (that we know of) where we find Abraham telling Sarah to lie to the king of the land, saying she is Abraham’s sister so that the king will not have Abraham killed in order to get Sarah.  The first time is in Genesis 12 in Egypt and the second time is here in Genesis 20 with Abimelech.  However, there is a twist in the story in chapter 20 that I love.

Genesis 20:6-7

6 Then God said to him [Abimelech] 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 who belong to you will die.”

Did you notice it?  God calls Abraham His prophet.  If ever in history there was a time to downplay a detail, this would be it!  I mean, Abraham is caught in a tremendous lie that is not just detrimental to his wife, Sarah, but also to Abimelech.  Thankfully, God kept Abimelech from sinning.

You would think that God would be ashamed or embarrassed by Abraham’s actions.  You would think that God would keep His mouth shut about Abraham and figure another way to get Sarah out of this predicament.  Or, at least downplay it, maybe he would mumble it under his breath.  Instead, God says, “Hey Abimelech, that man who deceived you — who almost cost you your very life — he’s my prophet; my spokesman.”

What grace the Father shows Abraham.  What love.  What unashamed love!

When I think of all the times I have sinned — all the ways I struggle to do what is right — it makes my heart glad to know God is not ashamed of me.  God doesn’t downplay knowing me.  He’s not embarrassed by me.  

And what’s even greater, He still wants to use me to fulfill his plan, just as he still used Abraham.  In verses 17 & 18 we read that Abraham prayed for Abimelech and his family and God healed their bodies from the curse placed on them.  

Amazing!  In the middle of this mess, God not only claims Abraham as his own, but uses him in a healing ministry.

The next time you find yourself in a messy situation, remember that God didn’t deny knowing Abraham and He won’t deny you!

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