Abraham Tells Abemelech Sarah is His Sister

“During World War I, a British commander was preparing to lead his soldiers back to battle. They’d been on furlough, and it was a cold, rainy, muddy day. Their shoulders sagged because they knew what lay ahead of them: mud, blood, possible death. Nobody talked, nobody … More


As this chapter opens we find Abraham on the move. We are not told why he is moving but we find him rounding up his flocks and moving southward along the same road that has once taken him to Egypt (v. 1). Since God seems to be silent in this situation it would appear that Abraham may have been acting on his own without any leading from the Lord. This is always a dangerous thing to do.

Soon we find Abraham repeating his former sin. “and Abraham said of Sarah his wife, she is my sister: and Abimelech king of Girar sent, and took Sarah"(v. 2). However we see God’s protecting hand as “God came to Abimelich in a dream by night, and said to him, behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife” (v. 3).

God’s standards on the matter of marital purity are high and unchanging whether in Abraham’s day, under the law, or in our day, the day of grace. To take another man’s wife is a sin worthy of death according to God’s law (vv. 4-18). Our human laws can be very accommodating. Abimelech had broken no human law because the law of that time was so written that his lust could be accommodated. The same kind of thing is happening today. There was a time when adultery was a crime but not any more. We have rewritten the laws. There was a time when homosexuality was a crime but not any more. We have written new laws to accommodate the deviates. Man’s way is to change the laws so he can fulfil his own lusts. This is not God’s way.


I will never know, this side of heaven, how often God has steered me through some strange set of circumstances that has prevented me from committing serious sins. I can only thank the Lord!

Genesis 20:1-18 (English Standard Version)

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