Again, Abraham? Didn’t we go through this in Egypt Already? You introduced Sarah as your sister, and the king there tried to add her to his collection of wives. Then God came to Sarah’s rescue and said, “Hey, king, she’s Abraham’s wife!” Unlike the king of Egypt, though, Abimelech yields wholeheartedly. Even his kingdom is terrified. He not only gives Sarah back, but he gifts Abraham any piece of land he chooses, animals, servants – the works. Abraham, who by the first sentence we know was on the move once again through the Negev, is set! This half-lie (Abraham justifies it by explaining how Sarah really is his sister, but c’mon, Abraham, right?) has now brought about the same good fortune twice! So, lies are bad but half-truths are ok, right? I don’t think that’s the lesson here, but it sure does evoke a whole lotta questions, doesn’t it?
I feel like Abraham and Sarah did this routine a lot. Abraham says in verse 13 that when God called him to move from place to place, this is the arrangement he and Sarah made. I’m led to believe that they pulled off the story in more places than Gerar and Egypt. God uses these two examples because of their outcome, perhaps? If God would not have intervened, who knows what would have happened.
I love how Abimelech addresses Sarah directly and even gives her some authority. He says, “Look! Be my witness! I’m paying your brother for the wrong I have caused YOU!” That’s beautiful right there.
We don’t know Abimelech. We don’t know anything about Gerar, other than Abraham assumed it was a godless place (verse 11). And we sure don’t know why God turned a half-lie into a tear-jerking, relationship-building, miracle-witnessing moment, but we know this feel-good ending would make a tear-jerker on the big screen, don’t we? I’ve never used so many hyphenated words in one sentence in my life! And if it weren’t for this chapter and this project, I never would have. I love it! And I love this ending. It shows us how confession can bring about healing in the craziest of ways. God can turn any bad situation into something good, and He always can be glorified through it.
Writing prompt: coming clean
Have you ever fessed up to a lie and felt like you’d won the lottery because of the outcome? Write about your confession, the forgiveness you received and your response, and use as many dad-gum hyphenated words as you want!