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Daily Bible Study
Lesson # Genesis 20:14-18
Study Material - Genesis 20:14-18
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.
14 Abimelech then took sheep and oxen and male and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and restored his wife Sarah to him. 15 And Abimelech said, 'Behold, my land is before you; settle wherever you please.' 16 And to Sarah he said, 'Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver; behold, it is your vindication before all who are with you, and before all men you are cleared.' 17 And Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maids, so that they bore children. 18 For the LORD had closed fast all the wombs of the household of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham's wife.
When we get back into Leviticus, we will be covering the principle of the 'fifth part'. It is a principle wherein the guilty or the sinner is required to pay 20% as a part of his repentance for sin. Now this was an actual payment in those days, but the principle is a spiritual one, not one of requiring payments for salvation or even fellowship recovery. It teaches that the sinner has an obligation regardless of whether or not he knows that he has sinned. Abimelech states that he has done nothing wrong, but in fact he is in the wrong with his attitude toward women in general and toward sin with respect to marriage (adultery) specifically. The fifth part is not specifically stated here as God did not require a payment of compensation, only the restoration of Sarah.
Abimelech goes that one step further, since Abraham is identified as a 'prophet', not just another ordinary person who happened by. When Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible he recorded many things that were already in practice. For example the sacrifices had been in use since Adam. Cain violated the sacrifice principle and Abel complied obediently.
So paying compensation to the one who has been wronged was a common resolution to a problem. Repaying say a lamb plus 1/5th of the value of the lamb would be the required compensation to make things right. The payor gains because he made things right (he is redeemed) by making restitution. The recipient gains by receiving 1/5th more than the loss. So everyone comes out ahead. This is called grace, which is Gods policy for mankind. Five then becomes the number for grace. For by grace we received redemption, and redemption is generally represented by the payment of silver, Ex. 30:12-15, 1 Pet. 1:18,19, the silver being the representation of the blood of Christ with respect to His work on the Cross.
The sin here is a great sin. All sin is against God, Psa. 51:4. Not that all sin is not great, but in this case there was an attempt to destroy the line of Christ in the of spring of Sarah. There was also the pretended integrity of Abimelech, not knowing that he had sinned. The practice of having multiple women was acceptable to him, but wrong in truth. Therefore, the death penalty was threatened for the wrong. And not only to the king but to his entire nation. That nation was a nation of sinners.
Abraham was right in that respect. This was a godless society or rather they did not fear 'the God', therefore the sentence potentially was against the nation as all were guilty of sin. And not just sin but their pattern of sin was their life's undoing. Sodom went this way and never recovered. Sodom rejected Lot's warning as humor.
Abimelech took the warning seriously and hurried to make things right. He paid Abraham in two parts. The first part was in livestock and servants, and the second part was in silver. The former was intended to repay Abraham for the sin against Abraham the husband. The latter was a payment in behalf of Sarah for the wrong that could have been made against her, but was prevented by God. This then was Gods grace. Life was given rather than death. Of course the main repayment was the return of Sarah.
What then of Abraham and Sarah? Abraham prayed for Abimelech. Abimelech told the entire story to Abraham. By offering the prayer, Abraham indicates that he has recalled the promises of God, that he has now reflected as to his wrongful part in this whole affair, and that he is now going to comply with the dreams command and pray for Abimelech. There was no forgiveness until the prayer had been offered in the manner commanded. The payments meant nothing without the prayer.
Principle. Man cannot buy his way out of his predicaments apart from the grace of God. Gods command comes first. Mans application of that command, or mans compliance with the command must follow hearing, learning, accepting.
God closed the wombs of the women in the household. God restored them. This principle applies to all of us. God has the ultimate power and authority to direct our lives. When we comply with His will, we receive blessing. When we ignore God, we receive cursing. In order to recover our grace status, we then have to acknowledge our sins, and then confess them to God the Father and then resume in our spiritual lives. These principles and mechanics have been studied in Leviticus and 1 John.
Abimelech thought that he could simply live his life apart from the principles that are taught in the Bible. He was wrong. No person is an island in this universe with special privileges to go about their lives ignoring God. That concept is a myth. We are all living souls. Souls which need nourishment (Bible doctrine). Withholding that nourishment from the soul sends the soul into an unhealthy state. Sodom was the result on a regional scale. In our present day, the terrorists in Afghanistan are examples of souls gone bad. The decay of the soul leads to extreme wickedness. And this degree of extreme wickedness has to be put in check or it will spread and destroy everything that it comes into contact with.
Sodom had their chance and they were defiant. Abimelech had his choice and he came around. The terrorists have their choice and many are defiant. What do you suppose will be the final decision for them? Who controls history? Terrorists, the USA, or God?
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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