Today’s Reading: Genesis 20
Key Verse: Abraham introduced his wife, Sarah, by saying, “She is my sister.” So King Abimelech of Gerar sent for Sarah and had her brought to him at his palace. – Genesis 20:2
In Genesis 20, Abraham once again distrusts and, therefore, lies about Sarah being his sister to protect himself. Furthermore, Abraham had committed this same sin before when he was in Egypt and had been rebuked by Pharaoh before he returned to the Promised Land in repentance. (See Genesis 12:10-13:4.)
Gerar was just outside of the Promised Land and governed by the powerful king-Abimelech. The circumstances should have reminded Abraham of the time he failed in Egypt, and he should have been more alert, but then, so should we be. We must be particularly careful in areas where we have failed before. ‘Just outside’ is the most vulnerable place for the believer. ‘Just outside’ fools us into thinking we are safe while relaxing in the enemy’s camp. There is no just outside of God’s will; we are either walking in His way or not.
This encounter with King Abimelech makes Abraham a repeat offender. Once again he lied about Sarah being his sister. Possibly you can identify with Abraham. Maybe the same struggles and failures keep turning up in your life, even after you think they are dealt with.
The good news from this account is; when we mess up, God responds with grace. Abraham, like us, did not deserve this but God in his mercy preserves us even when we fail to obey him. God’s grace is sufficient to forgive all of our failures. 1 John 1:9 states: “If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”