Walk Thru The Word for Today:  Genesis 17: 16: (ESV)

(“Innocent” Mistakes Can Compromise Integrity)

Gen. 20: 4-84Now Abimelech had not approached her. So he said, “Lord, will you kill an innocent people? 5Did 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.” 6Then 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. 7Now 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.”

Walk Thru The Word for Today:  Genesis 20: 8 – 11 (ESV)

(Feared Overrode Abraham’s Faith)

Genesis 20: 8 – 13: 8So Abimelech rose early in the morning and called all his servants and told them all these things. And the men were very much afraid. 9Then 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.” 10And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you see, that you did this thing?” 11Abraham 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.’

 Walk Thru The Word for Today:  Genesis 20: 1213 (ESV)

(Abimelech Serves/Responds To God by Returning Sarah)

12Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. 13And 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.”

Walk Thru The Word for Today:  Genesis 20: 14 – 17: (ESV)

(Abimelech Returns Sarah and lets Abraham Live in the land)

Gen 20: 14-18 14Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and male servants and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and returned Sarah his wife to him. 15And Abimelech said, “Behold, my land is before you; dwell where it pleases you.” 16To 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 Alla who are with you, and before everyone you are vindicated.” 17Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children. 18For the LORD had closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

Message map:  10-22-17 Genesis 17 “Circumcision Certifies The Covenant

  • Fear overrides Abraham’s faith
  • “Innocent” Mistakes Can Compromise Integrity
  • fear motivates Abraham to Lie & Motivates Abimelech to Respond to God
  • if we respect god now & get saved we will not have regrets later
  • God Secures The Sanctity of Marriage
  • Abimelech Severed The Sanctity of Marriage
  • “Innocent” Mistakes Can Compromise Integrity
  • Abimelech repents, rebukes & Returns Sarah
  • Abraham Is accountable to god Who Works to perfect his prophet
  • Prophets are not perfect – but must perform their duties please god despite their call minister truth & pray for Abimelech

Abraham Sojourned as a friend of God

Gen 20: 1

1From there Abraham journeyed …and sojourned (pilgrimaged in obedience and devotion to God) in Gerar.

Abraham’s sojourning involved …

  1. bringing and being faithful to his barren wife, Sarah. (Gen 11:30 & 12: 1-3
  2. God circumcising Abraham (Gen 17)
  3. Losing Lot, who lost his way in Sodom (Gen 19)
  4. Overcoming the Hagar Hassle & isolating from Ishmael whom he loved as a son (Gen 16 & 21)
  5. Being willing to sacrifice Isaac
  6. Called A Friend of God

James 2:23 – and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.

James 4:4. So whoever wants to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy. … So whoever decides to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy.The Scriptural concept of sojourning is a metaphor for “our lives’ journey before God Click To Tweet

2 Chron 20:7 Did you not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?

Isaiah 41:8 But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend;

Gen 18: 16-19 – 16Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17The LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19For I have chosenf him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.

The patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were sojourners – meaning they “pilgrimaged and journeyed in obedience and devotion to God – moving about in a temporary dwellings.”

The Scriptural concept of sojourning is a metaphor for “our lives’ journey before God, though our temporary human life here in earth.” Jacob expresses this in Genesis 47:9 “9And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my sojourning are 130 years. Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their sojourning.” ”

The challenge with sojourning as Abraham did is that one is stranger or an outsider wherever you go.

Hebrews 11:9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise.

Sojourning can make one feel like an insecure outsider.  Being an outsider can make us feel vulnerable – unless we remember that 1 + God = overwhelmingly favorable situations.  In 2 Kings 6 when the king of Syria surrounds Dothan to entrap and oil Elisha the prophet, 2 Kings 6:16, says, “Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

Abraham’s lie leads everyone astray Gen 20: 2

2And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.

3But 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.”

In Gen 20: 2, when “Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister,” he

  1. lied
  2. told a half-truth (Gen 20: 12 “Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife.
  3. made perfect sense to Abimelech because Sarai was such a beautiful woman it was obvious she would not be with a guy like Abraham.
  4. Abraham was shrewd and schemed up a plan to save his own neck, at Sarah’s expense – although, perhaps he had no idea Abimelech would take her. Or perhaps he thought God would protect her.

Abraham’s overt lie & Abimelechs opportunistic lust Gen 20: 2 – 3

Because Abraham lied/told a half-truth in Gen 20:2 …

  1. Abimelech is not accountable for being opportunistic and taking Sarah. Not True! For God judges Abimelech and warns him he’s a dead man if he doesn’t repent. Abimelech may not have even known that the wombs in his household have been shut off, as is explained in Gen 20: 17-18.
  2. and because there is “separation of church and state” God would never hold a government official accountable for anything
  3. and because there is “separation of church and state” God would never hold Abimelech’s people accountable for what he, the king did (Gen 20: 3-4)
  4. 1 Sam 12:25 25But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.” This refers to a 2 way street.  If people give themselves over to sin, they will select sinful leadership, and that sinful king in turn will lead the nation into God’s judgement — probably doing so with positive sounding talking points about who great things will be living in sin.

Abraham’s overt lie & Abimelechs opportunistic lust Gen 20: 2 – 3

Genesis 20: 3: 3But 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.”   God did this because …

  1. God takes seriously the sanctity of marriage.
  2. Abimelech provoked God to demonstrate that the soul that sins will die (Ezek 18: 4 & 20 … The soul who sins shall die. The person who sins will die.)
  3. Abraham provoked God to admonish him per Ezek 33: 6 & 9 Ezek 33:6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand. Ezek 33: 9 But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.

Ezek 3: 19 keep on sinning, they will die in their sins

Jer 51:6 Flee from the midst of Babylon, And each of you save his life! Do not be destroyed in her punishment, for this is the LORD’S time of vengeance; He is going to render recompense to her.

The Fear factor of faith

Genesis 20: 8 – 13: 8So Abimelech rose early in the morning and called all his servants and told them all these things. And the men were very much afraid because…

  1. they feared God.
  2. Proverbs 9:10 KJV, NAS, NIV – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. NLT Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. ESV The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
  3. The converted fearfully respect God and Repent
  4. Those who reject Christ repudiate God, which leads to Great regret!
  5. if we respect God now & get saved we will not have regrets later

Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.

Proverbs 15:16 Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it.

Proverbs 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. … All who fear the LORD will hate evil.

Proverbs 16:6 Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD evil is avoided.

So we can conclude that fear of the Lord, meaning a good healthy respect of God’s power to both bless and judge can lead to a proper faith in God.

Gen. 20: 4-8 Abimelech proclaims his innocence because both Abraham and Sarah lied about them being married.  6Then God said “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of (the wholeness of what is in) your [sinful] heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her.

  1. Abimelech has no righteousness of his own. Rom 7:8 Romans 7:18 KJV For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
  2. Rom 2:4 the kindness of God leads us to repentance
  3. We can thank God for imputing to us the righteousness of Christ Phil 3: 9 KJV And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: ESV = and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—

 Abimelech sees self-righteously

  Gen 20:10

10And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you see, that you did this thing?” This means …

  1. Abimelech feels he’s the kind of guy in whom everyone should see good things.
  2. Abimelech was not the kind of guy who would commandeer fair women who were passing through.
  3. Abraham saw in Abimelech a guy who would want Sarah, and who had power to take her
  4. Abraham rightly saw in Abimelech a sinner, who needed to have a “Come To Jesus”

Fear can motivate a besetting sin

11Abraham 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.’  This means … (Yellow Bullets)

  1. Abraham did not believe God was with him and would protect him
  2. Abraham believed Abimelech would follow the customs of that day, which was to kill a husband to take his wife, Sarah, but would negotiate to purchase a sister or a daughter.
  3. Abraham used human reasoning instead of praying to see what God said about what He thought
  4. Abraham did not learn his lesson from Gen 12:11-20

Hebrews 12:1 speaks of the “besetting sins (KJV “besets) that the BSB, NAS, NIV say “so easily entangles,”

The phrase in English “so easily besets or entangles,” is from a word that means there are certain sinful tendencies within each of that we must guard against because they are “well-planted within us, and that which sparks our temptation to do them is all-around, encompassing, encircling and surrounding, us, “wholly around”;

We each have sinful flawed tendency to succumb to a serious hindrance that “encircles” (hampers) us, and which can spring up at times when we desperately need to advance.”

Abimelech Responds, Repents, Rebukes & Returns

Gen 20: 14-16 Abimelech returns & vindicates (justified as innocent, and covered against any wrong) Sarah, by giving Abraham sheep and oxen, and male servants and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and returned Sarah his wife to him.

15And Abimelech said, “Behold, my land is before you; dwell where it pleases you.”

16To 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” (justified as innocent, and covered against any wrong).

Proof of repentance is recompense or re-compensation for the wrong we’ve done.

Noah Webster’s 1828 says To Recompense is to compensate; to make return of an equivalent for anything given, done or suffered;

Recompense to no man evil for evil. Romans 12:17.

To make restitution or an equivalent return for. Numbers 5:7.  6“…When a man or woman commits any of the sins that people commit by breaking faith with the LORD, and that person realizes his guilt, 7he shall confess his sin that he has committed.b And he shall make full restitution for his wrong, adding a fifth to it and giving it to him to whom he did the wrong.

in Luke 19:8 Zacchaeus returns fourfold to those he defrauded.

God Holds Abraham accountable Gen. 20: 7

In Gen 20: 7 God says to Abimelech Now then, return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, so that he will pray for you, and you shall live, because …

  1. God is throwing Abraham under the bus.
  2. God is holding Abraham accountable.
  3. God is protecting Abimelech from sinning.
  4. God has everyone’s best interest at heart

Prophets like Abraham are not perfect – but re accountable must perform their duties to please God despite their short comings, Notice Abraham’s repentance and obedience immediately follow each other. Abraham immediately answers the call to minister truth & pray for Abimelech.  We are going to see that Abraham wastes no time, once God tells Him something, in a couple of weeks when in Gen 22 God calls Abraham to give up his son.

Intercessory prayer triangulates between god, his servants & sinners/Situations

Gen. 20: 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.”

Gen. 20: 7 reveals the dynamic of the relationship between God, Abraham and Abimelech is …

  1. Abimelech must bless Abraham who despitefully used him by lying about Sarah being his wife. (Luke 6: 28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them who despitefully use you.)

EW 10)

  1. Abraham must pray to God for Abimelech, who opportunistically took his sister/wife — or else God will not let Abimelech off the hook (Far be it from me not to pray for you (Matt5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you
  2. Both Abraham and Abimelech become beneficiaries of 1 John 1:9, who confesses his sin, and see God is faithful to forgive.

God calls us to walk in the path of Abraham as intercessors to pray which is to intervene, interpose intercede (2), interceded (1), interposed (1), made judgment favorable (1), make supplication

In the 3-D Leader, we teach “Effective Supervising requires that at times the leader must intervene to improve work situations by erasing processes, sometimes helping employees to resolve conflict, and making sure those above understand what employees need to do their jobs well.

1 Sam 12:23 far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. 24Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. 25But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”   For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last… Click To Tweet

Key Comparison Verse:

1 Peter: 17 – since god is impartial We Must sojourn on earth in reverent fear

NIV – Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.

NLT – And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as “foreigners in the land.”

BSB – Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives in reverent fear during your temporary stay on earth.

NAS – If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;

KJV – And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

1 Peter 1: 13-23

13So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 14So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 15But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”c

17And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as “foreigners in the land.” 18For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. 19It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days.

21Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.

22You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters.d Love each other deeply with all your heart.e

23For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.

We are Sojourning Servants who intercede to improve

Sojourning Servants who Intercede for others to improve their situations by praying …

  • the Holy Spirit works to soften people’s hearts towards Christ, so
  • people receive Christ and grow to love Him, and
  • become better disciples, who
  • also pray for others.

Loving God Most Means Allowing Him To Grow Us In Accountability As His Interceding Servants. 

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