After the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham and Sarah moved from Mamre to Gerar. Upon their arrival in the new land, he told King Abimelech that Sarah was his sister. And just like in Egypt, the king brought Sarah into his haram.
Why would Abraham do such a thing? Had he not learned his lesson in Egypt? Why was Abraham still not willing to trust God and profess Sarah as his ninety-year-old wife?
God wasn’t about to allow anything to mar his plans for Abraham and Sarah’s conception of the promised son. God came to Abimelech in a dream warning him what would happen if he slept with Sarah. But Abimelech was pure. He pointed out his innocence to God, and God affirmed that he knew Abimelech had not touched her. He ordered the king to return Sarah to her husband and Abraham would pray for him.
Abimelech did as God directed, but first, he rose early in the morning and told all his servants what had happened. Then he called to Abraham and rebuked him for his dishonesty. He asked him why he would do such a thing.
Abraham responded he did it because he thought “There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.” (Genesis 20:11 ESV)
As it turned out, the pagan king acted more righteous than God’s chosen couple. After admonishing both Abraham and Sarah, Abimelech gifted them with livestock and servants and told them to live where they pleased in his kingdom.
How often do we make assumptions that lead us down a path of sin? May we trust God to provide and protect us wherever we go, leaning on his wisdom rather than our own.
Sarah in Gerar in Scripture: