January 22, 2019

DIVERSION OR DETOUR

What transpired in chapter 20 of Genesis could be referred to as another diversion or detour which if one is not careful could lead to missing the way if one is not conversant with the area or one could be totally lost. Chapter 20 reads ” And Abraham journeyed from there to the South, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur, and stayed in Gerar. Now Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, “Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife. But Abimelech had not come near her, and he said, “Lord, will You slay a righteous nation also? Did he not say to me , “She is my sister? And she , even she herself said, “He is my brother.” In the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this.” “And God said to him in a dream, “Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me.; therefore I did not let you touch her. Now therefore, restore the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.” (1-7).

Abraham again journeyed to  the South and stayed in Gerar. We were not sure why he moved again because the first time he moved South he encountered trouble in Egypt and his wife was taken by the king but God came to his rescue by plaguing the house of Pharaoh, then his wife was released and they were sent out of Egypt. Now again Sarah was taken by king Abimelech of Gerar, because they both agreed to lie that they were brother and sister. God had to come in again to rescue Sarah whom God was preparing as a mother of nations. The LORD made it clear now that Abraham was a prophet of God with an assignment, and therefore the LORD was jealous over his family and prevented his wife from being contaminated. Gerar must have been more righteous than Sodom and Gomorrah that were recently destroyed and they were aware of this. Thus Abimelech could tell God ,” Lord will you slay a righteous nation also?” The LORD confirmed Abimelech’s innocence by telling him that, that was the reason why He made it impossible for him (Abimelech) to touch her so that he would not sin against Him.

God once again overlooked their sin, intervened in the situation, and restored his wife back to him. God is indeed a merciful God. His mercy endures for ever. He had made covenant with Abraham and he is bound by this covenant and nothing can change it no matter the mistake they made. He is a covenant keeping God.  In both cities where Abraham’s wife was taken based on the excuse that he said she was his sister, the LORD knew that Abraham was  fighting for his life because most nations did not have the fear of God in them. Do they have to grab every beautiful woman they see and make them their own? It was such a strange world. But God did understand, and that was why He handpicked Abraham to show the world how to walk with God. Abraham also recognized that the LORD would help him to fight the battle of his life. There are two Scriptures that came to mind and they are 1 Chronicles 16:22 that says ” Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophet no harm.” and Exodus 14:14 that says “The LORD will fight for you, and you will hold your peace.”

The case of Abraham journeying South again and all that happened in Gerar confirms that God does not forsake His own. It does not matter how many times we make mistakes, once we come back to Him, He will forgive and forget all our trespasses and will rescue us and bring us back up. He does not give up on his children, because His love knows no measure. Therefore brothers and sisters, the God we are serving is God of Abraham,, and as we are walking along in all these chapters you can see the unending love of God, how it flows continuously to all his children in all situations. Who could have protected Sarah from the hands of those two kings if not God? That is why we should put all our trust in this God, because He is dependable, trustworthy, reachable, forgiving, merciful, and very loving. He is a warrior, always fighting the battle of our lives. He wants all of us to fulfill our destiny. The LORD will keep all of us to the end in Jesus name. Amen. God bless you all.

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