From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb sojourned in Gerar. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.” Genesis 20:1-3
Twenty years has passed since Abraham journeyed into Egypt, feared for his life while in the presence of a Pharaoh, and passed off Sarah as his sister to protect himself. Pharaoh took Sarah as his own and God intervened to clean up the mess. Now, Abraham is doing the same thing again. Really? He would do this twice?
But, it’s been twenty years after all. It’s not like these events are weeks apart and the lesson of disobedience is still fresh. After two decades, Abraham is having another crisis of faith and he falls again in an almost identical way. Imagine that! I am not going to throw stones as I review the ways I struggle with my faith and end up distrusting God in the exact same areas, over and over again. There are patterns in my disobedience too.
On this day, near the time of Isaac’s conception, Abraham’s choice to give up his wife to yet another king puts the entire Abrahamic line in jeopardy. God is not passive as He watches this. He is a Father who springs into action when Abraham messes things up. His inexhaustible mercy causes Him to preserve the promises He made in covenant love. For Abraham however, there will be a silent period. His tent will be empty. Sarah will be gone. He will have nothing but time and quiet to reflect on His disobedient choices. He cannot perceive all that God will do to rescue him. Sarah’s absence screams hopelessness.
Are you in some crisis today? Does it appear as if it’s the end? You are also suffering in silence, unaware that God could be doing something on your behalf. “Be confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil.1:6 God was active in Abraham’s storyline and you can be comforted that He works behind the scenes in your story too. Even when you and I mess things up, He makes a way for our return. He never lacks the ingenuity to know how to get our lives back on track even though we’re sure we’ve done irreparable damage. Oh, how powerful repentance is as it unlocks the power of heaven. God gives us grace to, not only weather the damage, but to then correct our self-willed detour.
I’m counting on Your active participation in my story today. Have mercy on me as I wait to see evidence of Your saving hand. Amen