Bible Study Lesson — Genesis 20:1-18
The “father of all nations” is at it again. This Bible study tells how Abraham tricks Abimelech with Sarah to save himself.
Breaking the bad habit of sin
The story of Abimelech, Sarah and Abraham teaches us that sin can become a nasty habit along with consequences for us, our families and other people.
This is the second time Abraham has lied about his wife – let’s look at the outcome.
Abraham Sins to Save Himself
Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.
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.”
Now Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, “Lord, will You slay a nation, even though blameless?
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.”
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.
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.” – Genesis 20:2-7 NASB
Abraham Lies to Abimelech – Is This a Pattern?
Remember when this same situation occurred before? ( See Genesis 12:10-20 ) Abraham still hasn’t learned anything from the sins of the past and repeats them with Abimelech.
Abraham seems to be establishing a pattern of lying whenever he is in trouble.
.. And, Abraham is a faithful servant of God!
What about our sinful habits?
If Abraham, one of the most respected and well-known people in the Bible, cannot shake his habit of sinning how difficult is it for us?
We all have weak spots when it comes to spirituality. I don’t know what yours are and I certainly don’t care to share all mine today.
The point is that sin is tempting and pursues us at our most vulnerable place.
We are Creatures of Habit
Even if a person has been a Christian for years, or maybe even most of a lifetime, he or she has habits that sometimes seem unbeatable.
How do habits come about?
Let’s take cigarette smoking for instance. When you first start smoking and light up that initial cigarette, your body rejects it. You cough and gag and many people even become nauseous.
Wouldn’t you say that is a sign that smoking is bad for You?
But, with time, the body is forced to accept enough smoke that the lungs get used to it.
Before you know you have the habit, the habit has you!
The Habit of Sinning
Sin is similar to the cigarette smoking story above. As Christians, before we commit the sin, the Holy Spirit steps in and tells us we shouldn’t do it.
Here is where free will steps in.
We have two choices;
- We can listen to the Spirit within us and back away from the sin
- We can go forward with it to regret and beg forgiveness later.
Future Effects of Sin
Yes, we can be forgiven but what about the consequences?
Some sins only seem to affect us, but others will affect our families and other people (Remember Lot’s daughters?).
The first choice seems to be the better one, don’t you agree?
The next time that habitual sin creeps into your thoughts and you feel the Spirit warning you, see if you can listen and make the right choice. I’ll do the same.
Love in Christ
If you want to know more about receiving the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment and read this verse to learn how.
Read Today’s Passage Here:
New American Standard Bible
New King James Version