January 7, 2016
God comes to Abimelech and warns him that he will die because the woman he has taken is married (Genesis 20:3). The fact is that Abimelech didn’t approach her (Genesis 20:4). So why did God say that He would destroy a nation when Abimelech didn’t do anything wrong?
It is because Abimelech’s heart was tempted to desire Sarah. How do I know this? For a couple of reasons. First, you can see that Abimelech starts making excuses (Genesis 20:5). And even though Abimelech had a learn conscience and clean hands (Genesis 20:5), that doesn’t mean he wasn’t tempted.
God knows this and warns Abimelech in the dream (Genesis 20:6). Here, God reveals that God Himself keep Abimelech from sinning. This is important because we can trick ourselves in temptation. The devil can tempt us and we can tempt ourselves. So God takes it upon Himself to help us.
Why did God warn Abimelech in a dream? Because his sin was soon going to get Abimelech into trouble. (Genesis 20:7).This is why God steps in to keep us from sinning. He knows how dangerous we are to ourselves. Of course, there are times when God allows us to experience the consequences of our sin. But many times, because He is a gracious and merciful God, He takes the effort to keep us from sinning, and then warning us about the consequences of what would happen when we engage in sin.
In this case, the sin was sexual. Sexual sin can cause enormous consequences. In this case, sleeping with Sarah would have disrupted God’s plan for Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 21:1-2). Not only would it have hurt their union, but it would have disrupted the direction that God had set for salvation to come into the world.
This story tells us of the importance of temptation and taking God’s warning seriously. May I learn to ask God to help me when I am tempted.