We will begin this lesson in Genesis 20:1 “And Abraham journeyed from
thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and
sojourned in Gerar.” Genesis 20:2 “And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She
[is] my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.”
As terrible as this story is, this was the second time Abraham had told
a ruler that Sarah was his sister. Abraham left out the very important
statement that Sarah was his wife. The last time the deception was to
Pharaoh of Egypt. This time it happened to Abimelech, King of Gerar, in the
land we know as the Holy Land.
Genesis 20:3 “But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said
to him, Behold, thou [art but] a dead man, for the woman which thou hast
taken; for she [is] a man’s wife.”
God warned Abimelech, before he committed a sin that was worthy of
death. Adultery was a terrible sin, and in God’s sight, it still is.
Abimelech had been deceived, he had not been aware that she was married. God
kept him from sinning, until He could warn him.
Genesis 20:4 “But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord,
wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?”
God is just. He would not destroy a people who were innocent. It is
amazing to me, at her age, that she was still desirable to men. When God
restored her reproductive ability, He restored her youth ,as well.
Genesis 20:5 “Said he not unto me, She [is] my sister? and she, even
she herself said, He [is] my brother: in the integrity of my heart and
innocency of my hands have I done this.”
Abimelech had been deceived by Abraham and Sarah. He was saying I am
innocent, and that was a true statement.
Genesis 20:6 “And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou
didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from
sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.”
God kept Abimelech from sinning. God realized that it was not
Abimelech’s fault. He did not know she was married.
Genesis 20:7 “Now therefore restore the man [his] wife; for he [is] a
prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou
restore [her] not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that
God was giving Abimelech a chance to make this right, because of his
innocence. The same way He gives us a chance to repent, and we must, before
His anger is kindled and punishment begins. You see, here, that it is not
wrong for some ministers to pray for you. He told him to let the prophet
pray for him, also. Notice, that if Abimelech continued in the sin and did
not heed the warning, he would die.
Genesis 20:8 “Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called
all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were
Abimelech shared with his servants the terrible thing that almost
happened, and the warnings, and they rightly feared God.
Genesis 20:9 “Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What
hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast
brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me
that ought not to be done.” Genesis 20:10 “And Abimelech said unto Abraham,
What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?”
It is about time that someone placed the blame where it belonged. at
Abraham’s feet. Abraham could have caused this King and his people great
problems. He demanded Abraham to tell him why he did this.
Genesis 20:11 “And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of
God [is] not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake.”
This was just a very limp excuse. Abraham, first of all, had no right
to judge them. Judgment belongs to God.
Genesis 20:12 “And 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.”
He was trying to say he did not lie. Well, maybe he didn’t technically,
but he did bring a deception to Abimelech. She actually was his half-sister
and his wife.
Genesis 20:13 “And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from
my father’s house, that I said unto her, This [is] thy kindness which thou
shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He [is]
Abraham’s wife, Sarah, was very beautiful, and he was afraid that
someone would want her badly enough to kill him. Abraham made up this little
scheme to save his life, and Sarah obeyed her husband.
Genesis 20:14 “And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and
womenservants, and gave [them] unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his
Abimelech was doing everything within his power to make this thing
right. He did not want the wrath of God to be upon him.
Genesis 20:15 “And Abimelech said, Behold, my land [is] before thee:
dwell where it pleaseth thee.”
He not only gave Abraham gifts, but offered him land to dwell on. I am
sure that he thought God would bless Abraham; and in the overflow. he would
be blessed, also.
Genesis 20:16 “And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother
a thousand [pieces] of silver: behold, he [is] to thee a covering of the
eyes, unto all that [are] with thee, and with all [other]: thus she was
“Silver” means redemption. I am sure that had to do with this gift of
silver given. This was the custom of countries in the east to cover their
wives heads with veils. This sin was her husbands, more than hers.
Genesis 20:17 “So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech,
and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare [children].” Genesis 20:18
“For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech,
because of Sarah Abraham’s wife.”
God left nothing to chance. He had stricken all the women barren who
were in Abimelech’s house. When Abraham (the man of God) prayed for
Abimelech, God healed every one. The women were able to conceive again. In
this area of the country, it was a curse when you could not have children.
For the next lesson read chapter 21 of Genesis