Who do you TRUST?

Our lives were created for fulfilling the purpose of God because of this, we never feel complete or satiated until we fully yield to the plan God has for our lives. Abe, why is trust so difficult? So, God comes to Abimelech in a dream and says in Genesis 20:3~Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife. (ESV) Ever asked, what’d I do? I believe God sometimes speaks to us in dreams or visions when we are asleep when our minds are not bound by the cares of life and we’re too busy to listen. You, like me, have probably gone to bed with a problem and awoken in the morning with the solution. Why not give God praise for the answers He provides.

Abimelech is a man of integrity and responds with reverence and concern by saying to the Lord: he said sister, how’s this on me? Abimelech was telling the truth: declaring with a clean conscience. This is the weight of sin. Our sin affects others. Doesn’t have to be drugs, alcohol, or second-hand smoke. Abe’s lie is about to cost a life. God even shares in verse 6 how He’s prevented them from a conjugal connection. God always guards His promises. Genesis 20:10~Abimelech said to Abraham, What did you see, that you did this thing? Abraham said I did it because I thought, there is no fear of God at all in this place…(ESV). So, Abe, you thought God was not God here, that He was not Lord over all? Is Jesus Christ Lord over all in your life? Many quickly answer yes, He is! Yet, like Abe, we put others in harm’s way by sinning and entangling them in our web as we weight them down. Saints, Jesus Christ is liberating and we must learn to register the hurts that our sin causes. The keys for eliminating sins that entangle our lives require us to understand the weight of sin: by Identifying our own weakness and propensities, that we register the hurt we cause others and beware the consequences.

Beware the consequences when we sin (Genesis 20:8-18). God will forgive our sins, but He will not shield us from all of the earthly consequences. This is found in the principle of reaping and sowing. If we plant roses we get roses but beware the bush that is baleful with thorns. As Abimelech shakes off his slumber, he summons his officials sharing his dream. Abe is his second call. Genesis 20:8~So Abimelech rose early in the morning and called all his servants and told them all these things. And the men were very much afraid. (ESV) Genesis 20:9~Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, What have you done to us? And how have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me things that ought not to be done. (ESV) Even this pagan king has a high regard for marriage. Does that stand out to you? Pagans: People Against Good And Nice, see value in the institution of marriage and the fidelity of a sacred commitment. We live in a culture where marriage is becoming less and less sacred, but hear me, God takes sin against marriage personally, because it is His institution. 



People, Places, Propensities

People, places, propensities. Saints we must identify the traps tripping which dogs at our feet. Our adversary the devil knows our shortcomings and he will exploit our every weakness to wreck our homes, lives and even our witness, given the slightest chance. (εὐπερίστατος euperistatos) No, I didn’t play Risk with you, when did we play Risk? (εὐπερίστατος euperistatos) Every time we fail to identify our weaknesses. We read this as beset or hinders in this passage, while it literally means to skillfully surround, like being hemmed in. For some, this is the fear of answering God’s call to Children’s ministry. The fear of being hemmed in. Like Ole Mo, Samson, David, and Peter, Abe is flawed, however, that doesn’t detract from the biblical message. The whole of the scriptural cannon proclaims to the reader holiness and faithfulness unto the Lord, not the perfection of His followers, but that of a follower who can and will be propelled by grace through faith. 

Ephesians 2:8~For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—(NIV) When we identify our areas of weakness, no I did not say your spouse’s area or friend’s area, nor did I say teenager, or your parent’s area of weakness, I said yours. We must own our life, and know the shortcomings where sin ensues, ensnaring us in a tangled web that dogs us. When we identify we can confess and move towards the love, mercy, and grace of God. 

For example, without David’s sin, we wouldn’t have heard his heart-wrenching prayer in Psalm 51:1~(When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.) Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. (NIV) Abe is again entangling himself in the weight of sin, for fear of man. Abe doesn’t have a Bible to turn to psalms and hear the powerful words of Psalm 118:6~The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? (NIV)

So Abe lies, and as a result, again falls into sin because he doesn’t recognize this area of weakness in his life. To eliminate the entangling weight of sin, we must identify areas of weakness, and register. Register the hurt (Genesis 20:3-7). When we get taken in by a sin that easily entangles our lives, God begins a course correction, to get us back on track. Our lives are purpose-filled and we are to live for His glory. We all approach the faith holding a couple of questions: Why should we glorify God? By seeing God for who He truly is. Revelation 4:11~Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will, they exist and were created. (ESV) The second question many of us have pondered is: How can I glorify God with my ordinary life? Christ Jesus answers this in John 15:8~When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. (NLT) 



Identity

Do you know your own weaknesses? As believers, we need to Identify Areas of Weakness (Genesis 20:1-2). After the angelic onslaught of a once vibrant sin-filled community called Sodom has been laid waste, Abe takes his leave from the towering trees of Mamre (Genesis 18:1) and travels southerly Genesis 20:1~From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb and lived between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar. (ESV) A powerful king joins the scene Abimelech, and Abe again fears losing his wife, Sarah. It causes Abe to repeat a sin. Do I have any repeat offenders? Anyone bound by the three strikes rule? You may remember a time when in life there was a famine, and you moved without God’s approval, trying to help the Lord, you knew He was busy, only to find one’s self knee deep in some deep…, well you get the picture. This is Genesis 12:12-13~and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake. (ESV)

So, Abimelech sends for Sarah and takes her Genesis 20:2~And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. (ESV) Grasp that this post-menopausal hottie, i.e. Sarah 90 years plus some days has drawn the eye of Abimelech whose desire is certainly more than a mere look see. How in the world could Abe do this again, especially after God had just told him about this time next year, you’ll have a son. Genesis 18:10~The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. (ESV) Part of the answer is found in our propensity, a natural inclination towards. Yes, we all have certain sins to which we’re especially susceptible. Hebrews 12:1~Surrounded then as we are by these serried ranks of witnesses, let us strip off everything that hinders (εὐπερίστατος euperistatos) us, as well as the sin which dogs our feet, and let us run the race that we have to run with patience, (JBP)