This chapter took place when Abraham was 99 years old, approximately 1897 BC and Sarah was 89 years old. Genesis chapters 1-11 covers about 2000 years. Genesis chapters 12-21:1 covers about 25 years. Genesis chapters 17-20 covers about 6 weeks. In chapter 17 is when God changed Abrams name to Abraham. Chapters 21-50 covers about 260 years.
After Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, Abraham and Sarah went to live in Gerar.
They met the king Abimelech and Abraham told him she was his sister. Abimelech took Sarah into his house to become his wife but God appeared to him in a dream warning him she was someone’s wife and he was a dead man.
Abimelech told the Lord he didn’t know she was someone’s wife and the Lord knew his heart was pure.
In verses 3-6 it shows that sometimes non-believers have more integrity than believers because in this chapter while Abraham was lacking integrity Abimelech showed integrity. Abraham has compromised his wife for his own safety and tarnished his reputation as a Christian.
Vs 7 God told Abimelech to return Sarah to Abraham or he would surely die. God also says that Abraham is a prophet which is the first time this word is used in the Bible. Abraham will never foretell the future but he does act out prophecy.
Abimelech asked Abraham why he lied to him.
Abraham said he thought Gerar was a godless place and he was afraid someone would kill him to have Sarah. So Abraham wrongly assumes that because he is in a town with non-believers that they must be evil and untrustworthy.
Sarah was his half sister so it was a partial truth. She was the daughter of Abraham’s father. (There were only 8 people on the ark so there were definitely marriages within the families to populate the earth again) Abraham’s half truth is still a whole lie.
Abimelech gave Sarah back and gifted Abraham with sheep, oxen, servants
and 1,000 pieces of silver.
Abraham prayed for Abimelech and the Lord healed him, his wife, and their female slaves.
For the Lord had closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
The actions of Abimelech shows that he feared God and was afraid of the consequences of sin.
There is so much life application in the book of Genesis because whatever was written in former times was written for our instruction.
The first time Abraham told Sarah to say she was his sister was back in chapter 12 when they were in Egypt. Now in this chapter he tells her again but they are closer to home. Seems to be a pattern of deception in his life which we will see was passed down to future generations as we study the book of Genesis.
Sometimes we make the same mistake over and over again just like Abraham.
He was scared for his life so he lied which was his excuse for his bad behavior. These stories are written for us as a warning and we must be careful not to excuse sin.
God will act on our faith. Remember He will make a way where there seems to be no other way. Keep believing and keep trusting in the God of Abraham who used him in spite of his mistakes just as He is able to use us in spite of ours. With God all things are possible!