Monday, February 6, 2017
Daily reading assignment: Genesis 20-23
In our study of the life of Abraham, we have seen this great man of faith allow circumstances and doubt overshadow his confidence in God’s Covenant promises. After having a son born to Sarah’s Egyptian handmaiden Hagar, God refused Abraham’s plead that Ishmael would be his heir. In spite of his faithlessness, God renewed his promise that Sarah would bear him a son in her old age, she being 90 and he nearly 100 years old (17:15-19).
In Genesis 19 we witnessed God destroying the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for the great wickedness of those people, bringing us to today’s Bible reading, Genesis 20-23.
With the ash and salt from God’s judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah settling on the land, Abraham makes a fateful decision to journey from the land God had promised and travel south to Gerar and the land ruled by the heathen king Abimelech (20:1-2).
Although 90 years old, the beauty of Sarah, Abraham’s wife, was still desirable and, failing to learn from his sins of the past, Abraham asked her to conceal her identity and say she was his sister (20:2). Abraham’s deceit once again put at risk God’s promise that Sarah would bear him a son. Fortunately, God intervened and warned Abimelech in a dream (20:3) that should he violate Sarah he was a dead man (20:3-8). Rising early the next morning, Abimelech confronted Abraham who excused his deceit saying Sarah was indeed his half-sister (20:9-13).
As an observation, Abraham’s deception and Abimelech’s rebuke serve as a reminder of the tragedy when some men and women of the world evidence greater integrity than God’s people.
Experience has taught me I am often better off conducting business with the unsaved who at least have respect of the laws of the land and the fear of a law suit, than I am trusting professing Christians who not only lack integrity, but have no fear of the ultimate Judge who searches and knows the hearts of men (Psalm 139:1-4).
In the words of the late Dr. Bob Jones Sr, “Do right though the stars fall.”
* Special note: Later today I plan to post a second devotional thought on today’s scripture reading.
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith