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Monday, October 28, 2019

2019.10.29 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 20

Questions from the Scripture text: Where does Abraham go in Genesis 20:1? What does he say about his wife (Genesis 20:2)? Who takes her? Whom does God visit in a dream in Genesis 20:3? What does He say to him? What does Abimelech ask him in Genesis 20:4? What do we learn that Sarah has done in Genesis 20:5? What claim does Abimelech make about himself? Who agrees with this claim (Genesis 20:6)? What has God done for Abimelech? What does God command Abimelech to do in Genesis 20:7? What does God call Abraham? What does Abimelech need Abraham to do for him? If Abimelech does not return Sarah, what will happen to whom? When does Abimelech rise (Genesis 20:8)? Whom does he tell about this? What is their response? Whom does Abimelech call in Genesis 20:9? In what manner does he speak to him (Genesis 20:9-10)? What specific question does he ask? What is Abraham’s (ironic) answer in Genesis 20:11? What excuse does he give in Genesis 20:12? Whom does he blame in Genesis 20:13a? How does he take some of the blame off of Sarah in verse 13b? In addition to returning Sarah, what else does Abimelech give to Abraham (Genesis 20:14)? What invitation does he make in Genesis 20:15? What value does Abimelech assign to what he has given Abraham to restore Sarah’s honor and set her right (Genesis 20:16)? What does Abraham do in Genesis 20:17? What does God do? What had God done (Genesis 20:18)? What does the Scripture call Sarah in verse 18?
Who’s the real king? That’s the question in Genesis 20. Is it Abimelech? The Philistine ruler of Gerar, whose name literally means “my daddy is king”? Or is it Abraham, who in this passage is jumping to conclusions not only about what others are like, but also about how he can be kept safe?

The answer, of course, is that Yahweh is King. He is the One who knows what is going on in Abimelech’s heart (Genesis 20:6), and it is by His grace that the sin of Abimelech’s heart was restrained in the first place! He is the One who has put a baby in Sarah’s womb. He is the One who has closed up the wombs of the Philistines (Genesis 20:18). In other words, Abraham’s fears were completely unfounded, and Abraham’s actions were completely unjustified.

In such a situation, we might expect a righteous King to be punishing Abimelech (who certainly is in danger! ...  Genesis 20:3) and Abraham, who hasn’t learned his lesson from the Pharaoh incident. Instead, God is restraining the sin of Abimelech, and rebuking Abraham through Abimelech, and keeping Sarah safe when her husband didn’t, and blessing Abraham and Sarah with great earthly possessions (Genesis 20:14-15) and a vital spiritual lesson.

But, most of all, the Lord is being gracious by keeping His plan to bring Christ into the world exactly on track. Before time, He determined to be gracious in Christ—to accomplish His redemption in the life and death of Christ, and to apply Christ and His redemption to believers by His Spirit. The Lord isn’t just being gracious to them in this passage. If you believe in Jesus, He is being gracious to you! And He still is.
How have you stumbled recently? How/why has the Lord still been gracious to you?
Suggested Songs: ARP51B “From My Sins” or TPH517 “I Know Whom I Have Believed”

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