There’s a gem we learnt in school which says:
“Speak the truth and speak it ever, cause it what it will.”
This is basically telling us to be honest regardless of the consequences. I read Abraham’s story and see where he didn’t always live by this gem.
In Genesis 12:10 we are told that Abraham went to Egypt to escape a famine that was in Canaan. While in Egypt, he instructed his wife Sarah to tell the Egyptians she was his sister (Genesis 12:10-20).
Related: I’m A Big Fat Liar & So Are You
While this was not “technically” incorrect (she was his half-sister Genesis 20:12), the statement grossly misrepresented their relationship.
I don’t know if Abraham saw it coming or if his actions caused it to happen, but, the half-lie landed them in hot water!
Because she was beautiful and thought to be single, she was taken to Pharaoh’s house to be his wife. The bride price – sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants and camels – was given to Abraham for her (Genesis 12:16).
I wonder how Abraham felt when his wife was taken. Especially when he was given the dowry for her. Did he confess his sin to God and ask for forgiveness and for help?
Related: God’s Grace When We Fail
The Bible does not answer that question but we are told in Genesis 12:17 that the Lord sent a plague on the house of Pharaoh because of Sarah. I wonder what Pharaoh thought when he realized that this beautiful women that he had taken for his wife was the source of all his problems.
Had Pharaoh been Jamaican he would probably have said something like, “A wha’ kind a crosses dis me tek up pon miself?”
That basically means, “Why am I having this bad luck? It seems that ever since I’ve met this woman all I’ve had are problems.”
Deja Vu: Abraham Style
Some 20-odd years later, Abraham was once again in a situation where he feared for his life because of his wife’s beauty. Again, instead of putting faith in God’s ability to protect, he lied to Abimelech by stating that Sarah was his sister.
Abimelech took Sarah for his wife and God appeared to him in a dream to tell him that he was a dead man because he had taken another man’s wife (Genesis 20:2-13).
A second man was put in the position of committing a sin against God because of one man’s unwillingness to speak the truth.
Bringing It Home
But here are the things I find really interesting about this story:
- Abraham had been perpetuating this lie since he left Haran. In Genesis 20:13, he tells Abimelech that when God caused him to wander from his father’s house, he asked her to do him the “favor” of saying she’s his sister.
- Despite the consequences following the incident with Pharaoh, he still continued to ask Sarah to say that she was his sister.
- God personally intervened in the two incidents that are mentioned. Even going as far as to tell Abimelech that he was as good as dead because of Sarah.
- God is so gracious that he forgave Abraham both times (and who knows how many other times before). He is so merciful that He didn’t allow Pharaoh or Abimelech to do something that would cause them to commit a sin.
- Abraham had a sin that “easily beset” him (Hebrews 12:1)! The man who is known for his faith and as the father of many nations was flawed. As we are. Many times we read the stories of the Bible and they seem “too good to be true” or irrelevant. But this story is completely relatable.
The story of Abraham and Sarah reminds us that we are saved by grace. Not by being “good” or doing good works. It reminds us that though God hates sin, He loves us and He will do anything to save us.
Related: I Will Never Leave You
Maybe there’s a “besetting sin in your marriage. It could be lying or unfaithfulness or unforgiveness. But God is more than willing to cover our sin if we only but ask.
Lord, I want to thank You for the examples of the Bible. I pray that You will step into my marriage and remove the sin of ________. I thank You for Your grace and mercy. In Jesus’ name, amen.
What’s the one thing you want God to heal in your marriage?