Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Genesis 20:8-13 comments: Abimelech, a righteous king

    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 sore afraid. 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. 10  And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing? 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. 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. 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 my brother.

This Philistine king does not delay early in the morning to calling his servants together and telling them how God spoke to him in this dream. Apparently, the righteousness of this individual king is reflected in the culture of his household.

Proverbs 1:7  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Understand God’s involvement in and control of every moment of your life and realize how badly you need to pray for His mercy and how happy you should be that He loves you.

Abimelech blames Abraham for deceiving him and bringing the possibility of great sin upon his household. He insists he has done nothing to deserve this treatment and wants to know why Abraham did it, what he saw in Abimelech that suggested this sinful deception was necessary. Abraham admits that he assumed that Abimelech was a godless reprobate who did not fear God. So, we can assume that this was the normal state of kings and kingdoms as Abraham knew. He had every reason to believe that Abimelech, as we have understood the customs of the time, would kill him and take his wife. It must have been a common concern of men.

Abraham then sort of halfway justified himself. “Well, what I said really wasn’t a lie. She is also my step-sister.” This scene makes a mockery of the times when we justify a lie, dissembling, insisting that since it was partly true it wasn’t really a lie. Oh, how many times I have heard that argument from a child, a teenager, or a grown person. The intent was deception but when found out we think we are so clever in that part of it was really true.

Finally, he says that this was what he told her to do everywhere they went where there was some danger. But, we see that Abraham’s lack of trust in God’s protection was unwarranted because even though he tried to deceive Abimelech for his own safety’s sake God revealed Himself to the king and warned him. In the two situations we see that Pharaoh, though wicked, was wise enough to know that, with the sicknesses brought on his house, he wanted to be rid of Abram and Sarai and even blessed them with abundance. But here, God, knowing Abimelech’s heart, revealed Himself, but protected Abraham.

Abimelech is a model of a righteous Gentile king.

2Samuel 23:3  The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

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