Before we get into our notes, I wanted to take the time to let you know that we will be taking a break from Genesis after September 29. When we move into our new location on October 6, we will begin a new study. I am excited as I hope you are.
Here are the notes from the sermon on Sunday.
The text for today’s sermon comes from Genesis 20.
vs 1 We are not given a specific reason for Abraham’s relocation to Gerar. It could be that he was saddened by the destruction of Sodom. It could be that other kings nearby knew how rich he was and they wanted what he had. Abraham moves to the Negeb. This is a new territory for Abraham. Abraham is unknown to the residents of this new place.
vs 2 This is the second time recorded that Abraham uses this excuse that Sarah is not his wife but his sister. Just as Pharaoh had taken Sarah in Genesis 12. Here we have Abimelech, king of Gerar. Abimelech notices that Sarah is beautiful. Her beauty had made an impression on him. So, Abimelech sent his men to go and take Sarah.
vs 3-7 God intervenes so that Abimelech does not touch Sarah. This emphasizes to a great deal that Sarah has not had sex with the king; otherwise there would be great speculation that Abimelech is the father of the son who will be born to Sarah.
Abraham is the first person in the Bible to be called a prophet.
vs 8-10 Abimelech rightly confronts Abraham.
Abraham had made a bad decision. It was a bad decision the first time he made it and it was a bad decision this time.
vs 11 Abraham’s response shows his lack of faith in God and his misjudgment of the people in Gerar. If Abraham had opened his eyes, he would have seen that the king and his servants were God-fearing people.
vs 12-13 Abraham’s explanation is a half-truth. It does not justify his behavior. Abraham confesses that this was not the first time he used this whole wife-sister excuse. It was a cover up to hide his fear. It is nothing that Abraham did but it is God that protects Abraham’s marriage with Sarah.
We do things and then cover them up. Why? Because we are afraid. Afraid of what?
*My fight with Tiffany in the hallway – hole in wall – cover up with poster board:
My sister and I used to have some fights. These were not “I will meet you at the sandbox after school” fights. These fights were reminiscent of one country declaring war on another country. This was UFC octagon worthy fights. Have you ever been hit with a cabbage patch doll? Their faces are made out of bricks.
Anyway, there was this time when my parents were not home. I do not remember how the fight started. I remember that it ended up in the hallway. My back was up against the wall and she was in front of me. She gets into her “I am going to kick a field goal with your face” stance and then it became like slow motion. It was like watching the Matrix. Her foot came at me and I jumped out of the way. Her foot blows past me into the wall. Yep. I just left her there with her foot in the wall. She finally got her foot out of the wall and decided it would be a good idea to cover up the hole in the wall. It’s not like we had enough time to knock that wall out and hang new sheetrock before my parents got home.
She grabbed a poster board and put it on the wall. When I saw it, there was a picture on the poster board. I didn’t even know she could draw. She thought that was the end.
My parents came home and of course they had to ask about the picture. They liked the picture, they just wanted to know why it was so low to the ground. When the picture was removed, the hole was revealed. My sister had decided to cover up the hole instead of just telling the truth. The cover up led to an excuse which became a lie. The lie was exposed when the hole in the wall was revealed.
It is always less painful to tell the truth.
Like Abraham, our lack of faith in God reveals our fear. I believe that Abraham feared the unknown. Abraham uses the wife-sister excuse every time they come into a new territory. Why? It appears that Abraham is afraid of what they might do to him. He is afraid of the unknown.
This is no different than us. God calls us to something or somewhere and we begin to make excuses for why we cannot be obedient. We make excuses for not sharing the gospel, not making disciples, not pursuing the dream that God placed in us. You make excuses because of fear. Fear of the unknown. You are afraid of what God might do in you and to you if you were fully obedient to him. You are afraid that you won’t be able to hold down a conversation if you engage someone in a conversation about the gospel. You are afraid that the dream or vision that God gave you will cost you more than you want to give up. You are afraid.
The problem with this: Fear is sin. Fear shows that you don’t trust God to take care of you. Why? Maybe you don’t believe that God is in full control over your life. Maybe you don’t believe that God is all sovereign. Maybe you don’t believe all things are held together through Jesus.
Repent for your unbelief. Repent for your lack of faith in God.
What kind of life are you living if you let your fear control your relationship with God?
You don’t have much of one.
You don’t have peace because you are afraid of how you are going to buy groceries or pay your bills
You don’t have joy
You have to fake smile and tell people that everything is ok with you when it is really not
You are not being obedient to God and therefore you can’t make disciples because you are not a good example of what it looks like to be obedient
You do not have the abundant life that Jesus talks about
You feel like your prayers are not going past the ceiling
You have got to stop letting the fear control you.
When you cannot see around the corner
When you cannot see an end to your situation
When you cannot see a light at the end of your tunnel
When you don’t know where to go
When you don’t know where your dream or vision is taking you
You trust God.
Step by step. Every step of the way. You trust God.
vs 14-18 Abimelech gave. His generosity proves his innocence. His innocence contrasts greatly with Abraham’s selfish deception. Abimelech, as king, makes a public announcement that he has not acted in any way that could be seen as inappropriate towards Sarah.
Then Abraham prays for Abimelech and God heals Abimelech and his family.
Because God has the power over something like fertility; God can open or close a woman’s womb, this goes to show that there is nothing that God cannot do.
Do not be afraid.
Trust in God.