Vs 2-3 – “And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife.”
Vs 14-15 – “And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife. And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee.”
What a wonderful display of God’s grace and mercy shown to us… To be blessed IN SPITE OF our sins. (Please notice I did not say blessed BECAUSE we have sinned)
Folks, in this account of Abraham, Sarah and Abimelech, we read of Abraham’s clear, obvious deception of Abimelech. And, yet, we then read of God’s wondrous blessings to Abraham at the end of our chapter. How can this be?
It is important for us all to understand that God never blesses us because we have sinned in His sight. Sin is hated by God. Period. Sin is always an act of rebellious, faithlessness towards our Lord for which there is never an excuse or justification.
In Abraham’s case, he should have trusted the Lord with Sarah and his future safety. He should have told the truth to Abimelech about his relationship with her. Instead he chose to lie and in doing so, displayed a lack of faith in his Lord and sinned against Him. (By the way, although they were half brother and sister – Gen 20:12, the words Abraham spoke was still a lie because they were spoken with an intent to deceive Abimelech.) However, at the end of our account, we find Abraham and Sarah blessed by God though Abimelech’s gifts.
So how do we explain this? How can a God who hates sin, use the entire situation to bring physical blessings upon those who have sinned? Before we begin to examine this, let me ask each one of us a few simple questions to drive home a very important point…
Have we turned from our sins to Christ as our Savior and Lord? If so, have we ever sinned following our salvation experience? Did He then leave us to never bless us again? Or, do we see His gracious, loving hand continuing to be in our life IN SPITE OF our sin?
When the Lord blesses us in spite of our sin, He is giving us one of the greatest possible displays of His love, patience, mercy, and grace.
Folks, this is both the answer to our question and the lesson we should take away from this chapter… Just as the Lord was merciful, patient, kind, and loving to Abraham and Sarah, so too, He is with us on a daily basis. In spite of our daily sins and failures, He remains with us. In spite of our times of rebellion and lack of faith, He quietly, patiently waits as He intervenes and continues to bless us in the midst of it all.
This is the wondrous God that we serve. May we take time to praise Him for His patient mercies towards us and remember throughout our day all the many graces He shows us in spite of our many daily sins.
“The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.”