Abraham, Sarah, and Abimelech Back to all sermons

Genesis

Date: November 4, 2018

Speaker: Sean Grossman

Series: Genesis

Scripture: Genesis 20:1–20:18

  • Genesis 20
  • Abraham, Sarah, and Abimelech
  • Genesis 20:1-7

1 From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb and lived between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar. 2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. 3 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.” 4 Now Abimelech had not approached her. So he said, “Lord, will you kill an innocent people? 5 Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” 6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. 7 Now then, return the man's wife, for he is a prophet, so that he will pray for you, and you shall live. But if you do not return her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”

  • Genesis 20:8-13

8 So Abimelech rose early in the morning and called all his servants and told them all these things. And the men were very much afraid. 9 Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? And how have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me things that ought not to be done.” 10 And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you see, that you did this thing?” 11 Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, ‘There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. 13 And when God caused me to wander from my father's house, I said to her, ‘This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, “He is my brother.”’”

  • Genesis 20:14-18

14 Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and male servants and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and returned Sarah his wife to him. 15 And Abimelech said, “Behold, my land is before you; dwell where it pleases you.” 16 To Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver. It is a sign of your innocence in the eyes of all who are with you, and before everyone you are vindicated.” 17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children. 18 For the LORD had closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham's wife.

  • Main Point
  • These verses show another event in the life of Abraham and Sarah
  • Abraham continues to show fear
  • God, however, intervenes on all accounts
  • This then sets us up with what will happen next, the birth of Isaac
  • Application Points
  • Unintentional
  • It’s interesting to consider Abimelech
  • We learn God calls him a dead man
  • Likewise we learn why this is the case, because he may commit adultery
  • Throughout the Scriptures we are reminded sin leads to death
  • In Genesis we find minus Enoch everyone has died
  • They had so and so, they lived so long, and then they died
  • Death is a common theme throughout Genesis
  • Humanity deserves judgment, and that judgment is death
  • Application Points
  • Unintentional (2)
  • If Abimelech had sinned against Abraham and Sarah, would he be guilty of it?
  • Would he be guilty of the sin if he had been lied to?
  • Can God find fault with him in this?
  • The answer seems yes
  • Even if we are duped, or unaware, of our sin we are still worthy of judgment
  • Even was duped into believing she was not sinning, yet it doesn’t negate that her act was sinful
  • The Law even deals with such circumstances…consider Leviticus 5:14-16

“14 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 15 “If anyone commits a breach of faith and sins unintentionally in any of the holy things of the Lord, he shall bring to the Lord as his compensation, a ram without blemish out of the flock, valued in silver shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, for a guilt offering. 16 He shall also make restitution for what he has done amiss in the holy thing and shall add a fifth to it and give it to the priest. And the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and he shall be forgiven.”

  • Application Points
  • Unintentional (3)
  • Here we find an individual who committed a sin unintentionally, and how they resolve their guilt
  • They are still held accountable
  • Thus, it is still sin
  • Abimelech is a perfect example of this
  • If he had committed the sinful act he would still be judged
  • Oftentimes we think that those who do not know any better are unworthy of judgment
  • The problem is sin is sin and we commit sin we are guilty
  • Application Points
  • Unintentional (4)
  • This shows the seriousness of sin
  • Any kind of sin has guilt and brings condemnation
  • This is also why we need to study the Scriptures and understand what sin is
  • It is not good enough to be caught unawares when the Scriptures are there to make us aware of sin
  • Be careful of sin
  • Sin is destructive and it deserves destruction
  • Remember to examine yourselves according to the Scriptures
  • Application Points
  • Unintentional (5)
  • This shows the seriousness of sin
  • Any kind of sin has guilt and brings condemnation
  • This is also why we need to study the Scriptures and understand what sin is
  • It is not good enough to be caught unawares when the Scriptures are there to make us aware of sin
  • Be careful of sin
  • Sin is destructive and it deserves destruction
  • Remember to examine yourselves according to the Scriptures, to make sure we’re not sinning against God
  • Application Points
  • Unintentional (6)
  • That is the realization of this…
  • The sin is ultimately against God Himself
  • It reminds us that sin is not only against the individual, but also against God
  • Every sin is offensive against God
  • Be warned, be careful
  • Don’t be deceived, it might be through unintended bad teaching, learn good teaching!
  • We have no excuses to not seek to mortify our sin
  • God deserves all of us for His glory, seek to get rid of these sins and give yourselves unto righteousness
  • Application Points
  • God of Life
  • We do see positive in this chapter
  • God is capable of taking life away, but also giving life
  • He does this through intervention, keeping Abimelech from sinning
  • Even when we consider the verses in Leviticus, there is still redemption
  • Those who commit a sin and then only after realize their guilt they too can have their guilt taken away via sacrifice (see Leviticus 4-5)
  • Thus, God does not only condemn, but provides redemption
  • God not only warns him of impending death, but also informs him how he can keep himself from committing the sinful act
  • Application Points
  • God of Life (2)
  • This requires two things from Abimelech
  • The first is faith
  • Abimelech must have faith that God exists
  • That the sin is against God, that it deserves judgment
  • Faith is necessary in order for redemption to occur to begin with
  • The second is obedience
  • If Abimelech does not do as God commands, then there is death
  • Abimelech joins Noah and Abraham as an individuals how has faith in God and does what God commands
  • Faith leads to obedience
  • Faith leads to faithfulness
  • Application Points
  • God of Life (3)
  • We see ourselves in Abimelech in another way
  • Abimelech needs intercession
  • He is in need of a prophet to pray for him
  • In that prayer the judgment against Abimelech and his people are taken away
  • It brings it all back around to recognize that God is not only the God of judgment and death
  • He is also the God of redemption and life
  • The intercession of Abraham was a necessary component
  • When we consider it we too have an Intercessor who heals us of our wounds, and takes away our guilt, who grants us life instead of death
  • Application Points
  • God of Life (4)
  • This also leads to Abraham
  • He blatantly lied…so what about him?
  • Isn’t he supposed to be above reproach?
  • We can have no real excuse for Abraham’s actions
  • He is guilty as Abimelech’s questioning shows
  • Many of us would be worried because…Abraham
  • But then we’d be missing something important
  • Abraham is declared righteous because of his faith
  • Without having faith in God to begin with Abimelech would never have repented from his course, and Abraham would never have moved toward Canaan
  • Application Points
  • God of Life (5)
  • It is not what we do which declares us righteous
  • It is our faith, which leads to faithfulness in what God has commanded
  • In this process we’re going to be like Abraham and fail
  • But we can learn from our mistakes and by God’s grace trust in Him to continue to guide us
  • In Abimelech we find an individual who would have sinned if not for intervention by God’s own hand
  • In Abraham we find an individual who did sin
  • In both we find ourselves
  • It is faith which brings us redemption
  • Application Points
  • God of Life (6)
  • Faith is what brings life
  • Faith in knowing God is not only the God of judgment and death, but also the God of redemption and life
  • In Him we find great fear, but we also find love
  • In Him we can place all our trust and hope
  • Through Him we find this great salvation from death, and this great gift of life everlasting
  • Application Points
  • The Gospel of Christ
  • Origins
  • Fall
  • Redemption
  • Glorification