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Daily Bible Study
Lesson # Genesis 20:3-7
Study Material - Genesis 20:3-7
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, 'Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is married.' 4 Now Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, 'Lord, wilt Thou slay a nation, even though blameless? 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 in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also kept you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. 7 Now therefore, restore the man's wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you, and you will live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.'
The pattern of the plot of Abraham and Sarah followed that same lie as with Pharaoh some 20 years earlier. The details are not given because they are not necessary here. Abraham, for reasons of his failure being spiritually weak in his faith, was fearful of the king. His weakness was his reaction to the presumed loss of Lot, which had occurred just days or weeks prior. The time frame here is a short one since his last meeting with God.
Abimelech is a king of a Philistine city. He was an idol worshiper. He had his own moral standards, and those standards included his presumption that he had the right to take into his harem, any woman in which his eye saw pleasure. Sarah was still a beautiful woman despite her age of 90 years.
But something happened. Abimelech was struck with something that prevented him from having relations with Sarah. Here we see that God directly restricted and prevented his relationship with her, and came to Abimelech in a dream to warn and advise the king. 'Stay away from her, and give her back or you'll die.'
Abimelech was not a righteous man in the sense that he believed in Christ, but he was righteous (human righteous) in the sense that he followed his own moral standards. Those standards common or popularly accepted by heathen style peoples.
Those standards were not in accordance with Bible doctrine (harems are taboo, as violation of the marriage concept). Therefore Abimelech was sinning in that he had a multiplicity of women (wives, concubines, etc.). He was guilty of adultery.
There is also another issue - Gods plan. Abimelech was in violation of Gods plan with respect to Sarah and her soon to be conceived son. The child was to come from Abraham and no one else. God had made that promise and God keeps His promises. No one can change circumstances or alter anything in life which would prevent God from keeping His promises. This applies to Abraham, to Sarah, and to you and me.
Abimelech was order to repent, and return the wife of Abraham and to pay restitution. He pleaded innocence. It is true that he knew nothing about the lie of Abraham and Sarah, but he was guilty of sin in his keeping many women. Ignorance of a sin in not enough to clear your name. Ignorance is no excuse. Sooner or later God will reveal your sin and then you will have knowledge of it, what ever it may be, but until then we, each of us, have a responsibility to seek out knowledge and to learn Gods will. If we fail in that, then we fail in our responsibility in life.
God gave each of us life, volition and Bible doctrine. We either make the right decisions in life and pursue Gods word, or we make the wrong decisions in life and pursue things that exclude God. There is no middle ground.
When you do not follow Gods plan, knowingly or not, then death is your pay. Though Abimelech may have been ignorant, now with Gods revelation in the dream, he was no longer ignorant. He now has no excuse. He knew of the end which came to Sodom. Who couldn't know of it? He knew that his sin was not as great as Sodom, thus his innocent plea. But sin is sin, and the price for it is death, whether it is great or small. You either change or suffer the consequences. And that is the ultimatum given Abimelech, and to you and me for that matter. We either change of suffer. Pursue a daily dose of Bible study, and more than that, actually learn what we study, or face the alternative.
God is not swift to issue punishments. Sometimes years pass by before we get hit between the eyes, but then a lot of little hits will have come and gone along the way. Whether we recognize and/or ignore the warnings is a problem we need to deal with constantly. Sooner or later God will stop issuing warnings.
Abraham has had his share of warnings and promises. Rest assured that Abimelech has been warned as well. God is fair and treats everyone the same. Jesus Christ controls history. He can restrain sin by means of His influence (Bible doctrine and its influence on public moral standards). He can restrain sin by restricting our inclination toward a particular sin (perhaps fear or guilt or some other restraint of law will prevent us). He can restrain sin by taking away the opportunity of it. And of course, God can allow sin to run rampant to the point of some massive destruction which gains the attention of many worldwide.
Sodom was certainly no secret just as our current Afghanistan and terrorist problem of today is world knowledge. Regardless of the event, the difference between good and evil is made clear. Some will recognize it, some will reject it. Some will ponder their own lives as others will continue to ignore their poor choice in life's paths.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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