Continued from this post.
We continue on our journey following Abraham as God reveals to him and to us, His wondrous attributes, nature, and purpose as the life of Abraham unfolds. God has time and again shown to Abraham His desire to be intimately involved and included in Abraham’s life, through revelation of Himself, great promises, and mighty acts of power. We have seen this Awesome Creator God allow and even encourage dialog between Himself and the man Abraham. An amazing thing to consider itself; To approach the Omnipotent God and know that He is listening and incredibly, He is moved by your words, is almost beyond comprehension; yet we are shown just that here, most specifically in the exchange just prior to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Still, the very next thing we see Abraham do is show a great lack of trust in God by once again lying about his true relationship with Sarah his wife. A lack of faith most definitely as his reasoning is revealed in chapter 20, verse 11, when he was confronted by Abimelech concerning his deception;
Genesis 20:11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake.
Amazing! When just a short time ago Abraham addressed God personally as the, “Judge of ALL the earth” (18:25), and now it would seem Abraham perhaps feels that God is not capable of protecting him here in Gerar? It is so easy to look at this and shake our heads in wonder, but before we do so we must consider our decisions and compare. When I am tempted to judge Abraham more harshly, I must first ask myself;
- Do I always rely on God 100 percent without fail?
- Do I never question or worry over events in my life as I know that God is indeed the Judge of ALL the earth, sovereign, totally and absolutely in control?
- And I must readily admit that most of my concerns and worries relate to things, possessions, bills, food, etc. Rarely do I find myself in a situation where physical harm is eminent. The point being, if I fail in my utmost confidence towards God in the trivial, how will I succeed when the danger is very real and very present?
However, as much as I am pained and shamed by my failures as I am certain Abraham was, I am overjoyed and strengthened by how God works in the life of Abraham as a response to Abraham’s failures. God uses this event and the others to prove His authority, power, and faithfulness. Rather than casting Abraham off as a failure, God intervenes.
Abraham allowed fear and doubt to once again influence his decisions, and God stepped in proving the emotions were misplaced. God further causes Abraham to surrender and submit to His authority by causing him to pray for the healing of the barrenness of the wombs of the women of Abimelech’s house due to Abraham’s actions.
How loving and caring is our God! Instead of allowing Abraham to slide with this indiscretion by dismissing or overlooking the wrong committed, God having Abraham pray blessing on those whom he sinned against forces him to take note of the consequences sin produces. Teaching him that our sins are never “private”, but weighty and far reaching in their ill effects. What patience on the part of God, what love! A love outlined in the New Testament book of Hebrews:
Hebrews 12:3-14 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. 4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. 5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. 14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
In this particular chastening we can see God exposing Abraham’s sin, but also offering a means of healing from it by confessing and repenting. Oh! Thanks be to God that He does chasten rather than quickly casting aside, working in us His holiness so that we might approach Him.
Next we read that God does indeed keep His promise, Sarah has a child- Isaac.
Genesis 21:1-2 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. 2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
Isaac is born, just as God spoke, all according to; His Will, His Purpose, His Timing according to His everlasting covenant with Abraham.
We find that Abraham shows indications of understanding more fully the Truth of the promises of God. Abraham makes a covenant of peace with Abimelech and proclaims its authenticity by memorializing the event and the place by calling upon God as El Olam- God Everlasting. As the God Abraham serves is everlasting, so let the covenants made by His people also be everlasting.
God has shown Abraham that He is True and Just, and that His word is Sure and Faithful. With the birth of Isaac, Abraham can begin to see the fulfillment of God’s covenant and promises.
With the next revelation God gives unto Abraham we hear the whispers of a greater covenant coming…
Shadows pointing towards a day to which Abraham will look and rejoice.
A blueprint of God’s perfect plan, formulated since before the world began…