“Don’t mock me God.
How could I?
Why do you ask me to do something I can’t?
Already I am shamed for what I have done. The best excuse I can give to him was that “I sense there is no fear of God in this place”. I can’t even own up to the fact that I was afraid that they would kill me. I guess being married to a beautiful a woman has its price. I thought my small little white lie would get me through this one. I guess the king of Gerar is different.
I mean,who would have guessed that he would fall in love in a 90 year woman? He said she was the most beautiful woman in the world. “She had a submissive spirit” he said. “She has a gentle and quiet spirit” he said. “That was what appeal to me, she has such inner beauty” he said. I know. I am at the verge of breaking down as he tells me the story of how my wife was kept for me.
The king now tells me how God had appeared in a dream to tell him not to lay his hand on my wife. I could hardly speak when he asked me “What have you done to us? Have I wronged you that you have brought such great guilt upon me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should not be done. What was your reason for doing this?”
I find myself saying “I said to myself, “there is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife”. I could hardly believe what I had just said. It was not that there is no fear of God here. The king was terrified. His house terrified. It was I.
But how could I doubt God? He had just delivered me from Kedorlaomer, Elam, Tidal, Amraphel and Arioch. He gave me the courage to reject the spoils of Sodom and delivered my nephew to me. He cut a covenant with me and promised to bless me. I tried to be part of it but he put me to sleep and he cut his covenant for me. Where was my faith in him? Where was the faith that I had when he took me and showed me the stars?
Now he calls me “a prophet”. Prophet? No, I am a liar, a coward, a worm not a man. O God why do you mock me? Yet Lord, why? Why? Of all the things to pray for, why Lord do you ask me to open Abimelech’s wife and his slave girls’ womb and heal Abimelech so that they can have children again?
Lord do you not know that I am childless? My wife is barren? That … I am now 100 years old. My body is as good as dead. That I too am not impotent?
Yet O Lord, you who change my name from “exalted father” to “Father of many nations”, you believe in me. You gave me your righteousness just because I took your word that the world would be blessed by my one descendant, my one seed. The world would come to know Him as your son. By the measure of the covenant, by the measure of your kindness towards me and by the witness of the stars, O Lord forgive my unbelief, let my eyes be fixed on you’re my exceeding reward, forgive Abimelech and restore him. Look upon this man who has no child and whose wife who is barren with mercy and give him the faith to believe my prayer for Abimelech to open the womb’s of his wife and slave girls and restore Abimelech. Let me not look at what I do not have but what you can supply.
Here my prayer. For I am your friend Abraham.”
Have you ever had such trials where, God asks for the impossible? Where we are asked to give in areas where we ourselves are deprived? To pray for someone’s healing when we are sick? To bless others financially when we are down to our last penny? We are ask to do the most insane task. Like asking an impotent man, (Paul says in Romans 4:19 “his body was as good as dead) who had an impotent wife to pray for potency. Sometimes God really rubs it in.
Faith. Faith looks up to God and not what we have but what he has. Abraham in his emptiness prayed for fullness. He prayed for the power to create from nothingness. He moved in the Spirit who hovered above the waters of chaos and brought life.
I encourage you. I encourage you to believe. Chapter 20 of Genesis ends with an old man praying for open wombs. Little did he know, the God of Abraham is a God who is able to do immeasurably more that all we ask for or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us (Ephesians 3: 20). Little did he know that in a short period of time, the prophet would be greeted by these words in Chapter 21 of Genesis (the very next chapter, in fact the very next verses:
“Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.”
Abraham’s prayer was answered.
James tells us that the prayer of a righteous man is powerful. Abraham was such a man. His righteousness was a gift. So it yours. Have faith especially when you have no reason to. I hope you are blessed.
20 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.”
8 Early the next morning Abimelek summoned all his officials, and when he told them all that had happened, they were very much afraid. 9 Then Abimelek called Abraham in and said, “What have you done to us? How have I wronged you that you have brought such great guilt upon me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should never be done.” 10 And Abimelek asked Abraham, “What was your reason for doing this?”
11 Abraham replied, “I said to myself, ‘There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife. 13 And when God had me wander from my father’s household, I said to her, ‘This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”’”
14 Then Abimelek brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham,and he returned Sarah his wife to him. 15 And Abimelek said, “My land is before you; live wherever you like.”
16 To Sarah he said, “I am giving your brother a thousand shekels[a] of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated.”
17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelek, his wife and his female slaves so they could have children again, 18 for the Lord had kept all the women in Abimelek’s household from conceiving because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.
21 Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac[a] to the son Sarah bore him. 4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
6 Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”7 And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”