READ: Genesis 20

BACKGROUND:

By Verse:

1 – It’s not clear why exactly Abraham moved on. It may be because he was terrified by the destruction of Sodom or because he was grieved by Lot’s sin (Gen. 19).

2 – Abraham made the same mistake of telling Sarah to lie and say she was his sister in Genesis 12:13.

3 – God intervened to spare Sarah once again. God often spoke through dreams in the Old Testament.

12 – Abraham makes another bad decision by attempting to justify his lie.

THINK: This is another incredible story of God’s grace to His people. At this point in Genesis, it’s safe to say we’ve all lost respect for Abraham as a husband. Strike one: he slept with his wife’s maidservant (Genesis 16) because he was getting impatient waiting for Sarah to bear him his promised son. Strike 2: In Genesis 12, Abraham tells Sarah to say that she is his sister so that he will not be killed if Pharaoh comes after her. Strike 3: In today’s reading, Abraham tells his wife to lie and be taken as another man’s wife to protect himself. Pretty unbelievable.  Even though it’s easy for us to see Abraham as a major failure, God looked on him with amazing grace.

Abraham acted in fear when he told Sarah to lie. He quickly forgot God’s promises.  In Genesis 15:1, God told Abraham, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Instead of trusting God, Abraham took matters into his own hands. I remember too many occasions in my life where it seemed safer to take things into my own hands so I could control the outcome. After all, trusting and obeying God is counter cultural, it’s bold, it requires sacrifice, and it doesn’t always seem logical. That means trusting and obeying God sometimes makes me afraid too. The unfortunate thing is that when we make decisions based on the fear of men rather than the fear of God, we forfeit God’s very best for us.  

The amazing truth in this passage that will continue to weave its way throughout the entire Bible is that God is gracious with His people and continues to use them despite their awful decisions. God didn’t write Abraham off after strike three. He intervened and made a way for Abraham and continued to bless Abraham.

God is not finished with you yet. If you are a Christian and a recent mistake or series of mistakes has left you feeling as though you are no longer able to receive grace or be used by God – you are wrong. Go to God in repentance. His grace is enough for you. He uses sinners saved by grace!

ASK: Am I making decisions based on the fear of man rather than the fear of God? Do I believe that if I have confessed Christ as my Savior and Lord and received His forgiveness that I am truly forgiven and can live in God’s grace and be used by God despite my failures?

Written By: Cari Widdel

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