Let it be known

Beware sin has consequences. Hebrews 13:4~Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (NIV) This means marriage partners are to remain faithful and monogamous as long as they both live. It had to be the fear of God that Abimelech didn’t prescribe the beatdown Abe’s deserving of. Adding insult, Abe adjudicates himself by continuing down the slippery slope of sin, saying in Genesis 20:12~she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. (ESV) Abe rationalizes his sin and says he just didn’t tell the whole truth. Listen, a half-truth presented as the whole truth is a whole lie. Abe is lying by omission and Solomon shares God’s position on this in Proverbs 12:22~The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy. (NIV)

Abe isn’t proving to be trusting or trustworthy. I believe that two things break down the home and society more than any other, they are sexual immorality and lying. The Lord hates these two sins because they bring so much hurt and harm to people He loves. To Abe’s credit, he does finally admit to drawing Sarah into his deception, when leaving his father’s house in Ur, though still pointing a finger at God. Genesis 20:13~And when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, He is my brother. (ESV) This agreement was made between Abe and Sarah when they first left Ur and were truly spiritually immature. 

However, it’s 30 years later and they’re still struggling, God has proved Himself time and again to Abe and Sarah. They hold absolutely no excuse for this half-truth lie and sin. Their sin is compounded because it’s a premeditated reaction, which could even result in Sarah having sex with another man. Still to show there are no hard feelings, to honor the prophet of God, and because of Abe’s disgraceful but honest confession, Abimelech gives gifts to Abe of sheep, cattle, servants and a bag of silver, along with the unfettered access to the land to live where he chooses. 

With all his imperfections, the bottom line is, Abe confessed his sin with great shame. The Bible shares if we conceal our sins we’ll not prosper (Proverbs 28:13~Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. (ESV)). However, when we confess our sins we can rely on God’s great promise to forgive. Genesis 20:17~Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children. (ESV) Much fruit born to glorify God. God never ignores sin, and He may use an Abimelech to expose and rebuke. 

Our Takeaway: Share your whole life with God. We’ve all made some pretty poor choices, but God still loves us and He wants to be involved and engaged in our daily lives. Wise people learn from mistakes, those they make and those of others. Learn from Abe and avoid the weight of Sin: by identifying weaknesses, registering the hurts of others, and beware of the consequences. Has the Lord revealed an area in your life today that needs some attention?

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)