Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar, 2 and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” Then Abimelek king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.
3 But God came to Abimelek in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.”
4 Now Abimelek had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5 Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,’ and didn’t she also say, ‘He is my brother’? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.”
6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her. 7 Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all who belong to you will die.” Genesis 20:1-7
More and more in these stories, it seems as though Abraham ends up looking like the evil one despite the covenant that God made with him. The Lord had threatened Abimelek in a dream, and Abimelek quickly relented.
Was Abraham so paralyzed by fear that he was willing to sacrifice his wife – again – so that he would be kept safe? Did he even have a conscience at all concerning his wife? Did she object at all to his abuse? Did he realize what kind of punishment the Lord would mete out if Abimelek had slept with Sarah? Did Abraham think it was wrong what he did?
We recognize again that Abraham was deeply flawed, and God still used him. It’s almost as if God chose this flawed individual as a way of revealing His strength to transform a messed up man. But it also revealed God’s character. Giving mercy and grace to those who truly don’t deserve it is who God is.
he saved us, but not because of anything we had done to gain his approval. Instead, because of his mercy he saved us washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.