This old tale may seem like an exception, but how many today trade their family’s security for temporal advantage?
Some temptations in life we fall for, then think we’ve learned our lesson. But they show up again, and we’re just as weak as the last time. Down we go again! Frustrating, isn’t it? It reminds us that we, in ourselves, need the help of God to fend off our enemy. This is exactly what happened with Abraham in Genesis chapter 20. He was considerably older than when he was tempted to tell a half-truth about his wife in Egypt. His scheme was to let on that Sarah was his sister, not his wife, so no one would be tempted to kill him to have her. He explained: “She is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife” (v 12). The plan backfired in Egypt—so why not try it again with the king of Gerar, a region southwest of Hebron near the Mediterranean coast? Sure enough, the king of Gerar took Sarah, perhaps as a way to make an alliance with the wealthy and power chieftain, Abraham. It isn’t usually a good idea to think the worst about someone, just what Abraham did on this occasion. But again the Lord stepped in, and that night told the king in a dream that he was in big trouble “because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife” (v 3). Abimelech the king rebuked Abraham for his duplicity, and do you know how the patriarch tried to excuse himself? “Because I thought, surely the fear of God is not in this place” (v 11). Oh, I see! Well, what about your fear of God, and your trust that He would fulfill His promise to give you a son? Could someone in Gerar kill you before that happened? Remember, believers are immortal until God has accomplished His will in us. James 4:15 says, “You ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” Isn’t it great to be safe in His hands!