Abraham Part 8

ABRAHAM

A study

Part 8

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper. (Prov.28: 13)

Now in this part of the study, in Gen.20, we find a serious lapse in the life of Abraham. This incident appears to be very awkwardly out of place with the recorded sequence of events that occurred in Abraham’s life. Here Abraham was 99 years old. God’s great promise to give Abraham a son was about to be fulfilled. God had just then appeared to him and had promised that in the next year at the same time Sarah will give birth to a son, Isaac. (Gen.17: 1,19,24) Then why did such a trial and failure occur at this time?

If we read carefully we find that this was not an unexpected or sudden failure. There was a hidden sin in the life of Abraham. (Gen.20: 13) From the time he left his house, Abraham and Sarah had jointly schemed to tell a lie in every place to which they shall go. They were accustomed so much to this sin that they had become insensitive and hardened. But God wanted to deal with this matter before giving them the promised seed.

Firstly, Abraham was telling this lie because of FEAR. He feared that people might slay him for his wife’s sake. He said, “Surely the fear of God is not in this place.” But on the contrary Abraham could speak a lie because he didn’t have the real fear of God. We may also be holding on to certain sinful practices, in the fear of loosing certain benefits or acceptance in this world. But those who truly fear God will not have any other fear, and they will never tell lies to safeguard themselves. (Isa.8: 11-13)

Secondly, Abraham assumed (took it for granted) that he is not telling a lie. He argued, “Yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.” (Gen.20: 12) When we find some wrong practices in our life, which is unacceptable to God, we harden our conscience by saying that, it is not a very severe sin, it’s a common thing, everyone does the same, without this we cannot survive on earth, and so on.

On this occasion God dealt with Abraham and Sarah by putting them to great shame. Abraham was a prophet; i.e. one who receives God’s message and conveys it to other people. (Gen.20: 7) But here a heathen king hears God’s voice and conveys the message of the living God to Abraham. What a shame! Then Sarah was reproved when the heathen king paid a thousand pieces of silver to “her brother” Ver. 16. And unto Sarah he said, behold, I have given thy brother a “thousand [pieces] of silver.” These words are directed to her, and in which there is a sharp cutting expression, calling Abraham her brother, and not her husband, thereby putting her in mind and upbraiding her. Then he tells her that he had given him so much money to buy her a veil with. And to supply her with veils from time to time to cover her eyes, so that nobody might be tempted to lust after her. And that it might be known that she was a married woman; for in these countries married women wore veils for distinction. (Gen.24: 65) Only after convicting them and purging them God could bless them.

We too cannot receive God’s true and abundant blessings unless we are thoroughly dealt with by Him. He must first purge us from all our presumptuous and hidden sins. Sometimes we may be so much habituated to certain habits, that we may no longer sense the severity of such habits. We have to be completely broken and remolded by the skill of His loving hands and prepared as a worthy vessel sanctified for the use of our Master. Only then, can we become a channel of His heavenly blessings. BROKENNESS leads to blessedness. (Psa.34: 8, Psa. 51: 17)

We must sincerely pray, “Keep thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. (Psa.19: 13) Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psa.139: 23,24)

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit. (Psa. 34:18) The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psa. 51:17)

[To Part 7] Lessons on Abraham [To Part 9]