Day 94: The Preserver Of Righteousness

Genesis 20:1-7

Abraham traveled from there toward the land of the South, and lived between Kadesh and Shur. He lived as a foreigner in Gerar. Abraham said about Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man, because of the woman whom you have taken. For she is a man’s wife.”

Now Abimelech had not come near her. He said, “Lord, will you kill even a righteous nation? Didn’t he tell me, ‘She is my sister?’ She, even she herself, said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands have I done this.”

God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also withheld you from sinning against me. Therefore I didn’t allow you to touch her. Now therefore, restore the man’s wife. For he is a prophet, and he will pray for you, and you will live. If you don’t restore her, know for sure that you will die, you, and all who are yours.”

Today we see that Abraham acted a lot like his nephew when He stopped believing in God. No matter how great Abraham was, he was no different than any other sinner that believes. Just because we have a relationship with God doesn’t mean that we won’t walk away from Him.

The Bible record, is really a story about God’s work. In almost every lesson, there is a new example of how God saves us from our own destruction or gives us the ability and power to do what is right. There is an example of both here again in this one. On top of that, we get to see how hard God was defending the future of all righteousness.

Abraham repeats his error that he committed in Egypt and tells King Abimelech that Sarah is just his sister. It’s a horrible thing to watch Abraham repeat his earlier sin, but it is encouraging to see that Abraham was a man just like us and that God is able to pull him out of the trouble that he repeatedly gets himself into.

The conversation between Abimelech and God is very insightful, however. Evidently, God was accustomed to talking to Abimelech too and Abimelech took Sarah without really considering God’s will in the matter. God abruptly tells him that he is a walking dead man. Abimelech is shocked and declares his innocence. God said that He knew of his innocence but that it was actually He who kept Abimelech from sinning. The point here is that it takes more than innocence to not sin in this world. We need the help of God or else our innocence isn’t worth anything. God must keep us from evil or else we will go right into it.

God tells Abimelech that, although he is standing in the place of a dead man, that Abraham will pray for him and he will not die unless he decides to defy the word of God and keep going in the direction that he is going.

That’s the same as it is for us. The Bible tells us that we will all go to Hell unless we come to Jesus and let Him save us. If we decide to not come to Jesus, all we have to do is keep going the way we are going and we will be in Hell. Those who God has given integrity of heart have the ability to believe and receive his salvation.

Speaking of salvation, God saved us all by doing what He did here. It was by Sarah that Jesus was eventually to be born. He was to become the savior of the whole world and give us righteousness. Without God coming to our defense, the plan would have been stopped; but we know that God would never have allowed His word to be broken. He loved us enough that He sent His only Son and that love goes way back to Genesis.