-Abraham journeyed southward to the Negev and settled between Kadesh [Hebrew meaning: holy. Miriam, the sister of Moses, died there (Nu. 20:1), and Moses disobediently struck the rock that brought forth water at this location (Nu. 20:11).] and Shur [which is far south in the Negev region almost as far as Goshen of Egypt where the Hebrews settled in the time of Joseph.]
-From this adventure, verse 1 tells us that Abraham sojourned in Gerar and this chapter tells of Abraham’s retreat back into lies and deception involving another king and his beautiful wife, Sarah, who was his half sister by his father Terah. The king was Abimelech and Abraham was again fearful for his life and gave his wife up for potentially going into the king of Gerar.
-But, before this happened, God appeared to Abimelech, king of Gerar, in the night through a dream in order to warn him about a grievous sin that he was about to commit and that he would be a dead man. Abimelech appeals to the LORD on account of his and his kingdom’s blamelessness. God assures him that He knows the integrity of his heart and it was in His mercy that He communicated with him to prevent disaster and sin.
-God recognizes Abraham as a prophet, and that his prayers are effective for blessing and restoration and life. God also warns Abimelech that if he does not obey, he will surely die along with all who are his.
-Abimelech confronts Abraham with the facts concerning the deception. Abraham again cites his fear and claimed that he thought surely that there was no fear of God in this country, which was his reasoning for the lying. He also tries to justify himself by stating that actually there is some truth to his relationship with Sarah being his sister.
-The weakness we see here in Abraham is his propensity to lie in order to work things to his advantage. It is a trait that flows through his family line as Isaac has the same issues with his wife Rebecca (Genesis 26:7) and Jacob in their trickery and deception (Genesis 25:28-34; 27). Then it is Jacob’s ten sons who lie to their father and deceive him about the death of Joseph causing heartache and pain (Genesis 37:12-35). It is interesting that God ends up working through all these human faults and glitches in His sovereignty to override all the sin and corruption to fulfill His good purpose. However, the concept of generational sin is evident in Abraham’s family line, which we also need to be aware of in our own families and how it affects us and the choices we make. God will always bless obedience to His commands, and sometimes He will work His will in spite of our shortfalls and mistakes. Repenting from the evil we have done and what our ancestors may have done is the essential factor and having a submissive spirit toward the LORD for restoration. Recognize the tricks of the enemy and break generational strongholds (Exodus 20:5; 34:6-7). God forgives and will bless your generations to come!
-Abimelech ends up giving Abraham sheep and oxen and male and female servants and a thousand pieces of silver for the purpose of vindication and restoration and clearing up the misunderstanding.
-The chapter ends with Abraham praying for Abimelech and his wife and his maids for healing of the womb. God had closed their wombs on account of Sarah, but He heals them upon Abraham’s prayer so that they would bear children again.
Verse to Memorize: Genesis 20:6