About Jesus Steve Sweetman
know there are two sides to the theological issue I'm about to address.
It has taken me many years to reach my own conclusion on this
matter. You may think differently than me, and that's fine.
of the Abrahamic Covenant that God spoke to Abraham in Genesis 12:2 and 3
and elsewhere states that God will bless those who bless Abraham, and
curse those who curse Abraham. With
this in mind, I'd like to relate the events found in Genesis 20.
Abraham first left his homeland, he predetermined that his life would be
in danger. Since his wife
Sarah was so beautiful, he feared that men would kill him to get to her.
For this reason he told Sarah to tell everyone that she was his
sister, not his wife. This was
partly true since Sarah and Abraham had the same father but different
leaving out an important fact is not the full truth, and thus this was a
lie. If a man's wife is also
his half sister, I would suggest the spousal relationship trumps the half
brother sister relationship.
Genesis 20 Abraham and Sarah lie about their relationship to Abimelech,
king of the Philistines. Since
Abimelech thought Sarah was single, he took her to be one of his wives.
Upon seeing this, God told Abimelech in a dream that he was as good
as dead because he took Abraham's wife to be one of his wives.
Fear and confusion suddenly swept over Abimelech.
He was told that Sarah was a single woman.
Now he learns she is married, and not just married to any man, but
to Abraham, God's chosen man. To
avoid the curse of death, he returned Sarah to Abraham, along with cattle
and money as a form of restitution and blessing for his blunder. Abraham
actually benefited financially from his deception, as he did in Egypt
with the same deception years earlier.
if you were Abimelech. You've
been tricked into thinking
that Sarah was single and available. Then
you find out she was married to Abraham, and God was ready to kill you for
taking Sarah as one of your
wives. It certainly doesn't
seem fair, yet to avoid the curse of death, you bless the one who deceived
you. You even let the deceiver
pray for you as you repent of this sin of ignorance.
In the back of your mind you think Abraham should be the one
repenting, not you, but this wasn't the case in Genesis 20.
Why was this so?
reason for this is simple. God
had previously chosen Abraham to be the father of a special people that
were to represent Him to the rest of the world.
For that reason only, God told all mankind that anyone who blessed
Abraham would be blessed, and anyone who cursed Abraham would be cursed.
This includes Abraham's descendents.
The blessings had nothing to do with Abraham or his descendents
deserving the blessing. The
command to bless was based on God's sovereign choice for Abraham and his
descendents for a special place in world history.
did not bless Abraham because he felt like it, because he probably didn't.
Abimelech blessed Abraham because he was afraid of God and what He
would do if he didn't bless Abraham.
same principle applies to our relationship with
blessed Abraham because he was afraid of God.
I also think that he might have had some understanding that God
sovereignly picked Abraham to be the father of a great nation, although at
the time, Abraham's
actions didn't show this. For these two reasons alone Abimelech blessed
Abraham, and for the same two reasons, we should bless
was afraid of God and the curse that would come on him if he did not bless
Abraham. This is something the
nations of the world don't understand today.
We should have the same fear of God that Abimelech had, but we
don't. I can't imagine what
this lack of fear of God will result in.
Western nations also don't understand that
light of these things, we should determine how we should relate to Israel, both as individuals and nations.