Summary of Genesis 20:
Abraham had been staying near the great trees of Mamre (Genesis 18) and now has moved on to the Negev between Kadesh and Shur. He stayed in Gerar for a time and again lied about Sarah being his sister. So, of course, the king of Gerar, Abimelech, took her for his wife.
God rescued Sarah (again) when he came to Abimelech in a dream and told him he had taken a married woman unbeknownst and that is why God has kept him from touching her. God tells him to return Sarah and Abraham will pray for him so that he may live. Otherwise, he will die.
Abimelech called in Abraham and chastized him (like Pharaoh did) and asked him why he lied to him. Abraham again gave his lame excuse of how he was afraid and he wasn’t really lying because Sarah is his half-sister. Abraham, as the head of the household, told Sarah to lie for him on their travels.
So afraid of God was Abimelech that he gave Abraham sheep, cattle, slaves, and whatever piece of land he wanted. He gave silver to Sarah’s “brother” so she would be vindicated for the wrongs he did.
Abraham prayed and God healed Abimelech and his household so that they could have kids again (God had closed their wombs because of Sarah).
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 13, Day 2: Genesis 20
3a) In Egypt where Abram went due to a famine. Abram told Sarai to tell the Egyptians she was his sister in order to protect himself because he was afraid the Egyptians would kill him while they were there. So Pharaoh married Sarai (thinking she wasn’t married) and treated Abram well because of it. He was given sheep, cattle, donkeys, servants, and camels.
The Lord was angry at this so he punished Pharaoh and Pharaoh asked Abram why he lied to him. Pharaoh sent them out of his land. They returned to the Negev much wealthier from his lie to Pharaoh.
b) Personal question. My answer: In this instance, I can’t. I’m unsure how you give your spouse to someone else. I can understand being afraid of death and doing irrational things. But this specifically, I can’t. Also, I’m wondering if because in Egypt Abraham was made a wealthy man because of Sarah, he tried this same thing again, and indeed, it worked again! Abraham was given a lot of wealth.
c) Personal Question. My answer: Unsure. Selfishness perhaps.
4) God once again stepped in to solve the situation and put things right. He came to Abimelech in a dream, told him the truth about Sarah, and told him waht to do. He also told him the consequences of not doing as He says.
5) Personal Question. My answer: my move, my career, my job.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 13, Day 2: Genesis 20
It seems Abraham made out in both these situations wtih Sarah, and God was the one who rectified the situation. I never see a sign of remorse from Abraham because he uses his fear of death as an excuse.
Why move somewhere where you suspect the people are pagans and where your fear for your life? This doesn’t make sense.
Abraham, as the protector of his wife, abandons her — again. I’d be mad as his wife.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 13, Day 2: Genesis 20
Abraham moved after Sodom and Gomorrah had been destroyed. Sarah was related to a wealthy man, which made her valuable in those days. Collecting wives was what rich people did in ancient times. Plus, this lie worked for Abraham before (he walked away wealthy), so why not use it again?
God could not let Sarah’s womb be compromised when it was about to bear Isaac, and the beginning of Jesus’s line. God protected Abimelech as well because he acted in good faith. God rescues us even when we make the same mistakes. He shows mercy and does not abandon us.
Abimelech was upset — and righfully so. Aren’t you upset when you are lied to? He also chastized Abraham (a man of God), while he was a pagan. Most definitly not a way to live here.
Abraham’s Excuse for Sin
Abraham was afraid, but not of God as he should have been. Instead, he relied on his own power (again, never a good thing) and half-truths that backfired again. Then, of all things, Abraham blames God (by God calling him to wander. Wander here means a negative way to wander, which is used 50 times in scripture to describe drunks and lies).
Here, Abimelech gives Abraham gifts and wealth to make up for the grievance. Abraham accepts (note he did not in Genesis 14:21-24)
I see no remorse here from Abraham. Do you?