Summary: Abraham & Abimelech. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

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Reading: Genesis chapter 20 verses 1-18.


A man opened a new business and his best friend sent him a floral arrangement:

• When the friend popped in to see him a few days later;

• He was shocked to see that the shop had sent a card saying; “Rest in peace”.

• When he called the florist to complain.

• The florist said; “Well, it could be worse.

• Somewhere in the city is an arrangement in a cemetery that reads;

• “Congratulations on your new location”.

• Mistakes of course, are part of life;

• Even the so-called greats have made them!


• In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene II,

• Caesar asks Brutus, "What is't o'clock?" Brutus replies, "Caesar, 'its strucken eight."

• The great Bard had forgotten that mechanical clocks;

• Were not invented until 14 centuries after Caesar's death.

• So mistakes are part of life;

• And we will see in today’s passage that Abraham & Sarah are about to make a big one!

Actually for Abraham & Sarah this chapter is Déjà vu:

• Abraham and his wife have already committed this sin before;

• We read about it in Genesis chapter 12 verse 10 to chapter 13 verse 4

• Years earlier they faced an almost identical situation;

• And on that occasion they acted in the same way as in this incident.

• Instead of trusting God and relying on him;

• They lied, schemed and deceived as they try to handle the situation in their own wisdom.


• Although they are repeat offenders;

• Remember that they did not behave like this habitually. They were not doing this every other week.

• There was a twenty-five year gap between the two incidents.

• This sin was not a habitual sin but occasional moments of folly.

Personal: Perhaps you can identify with Abraham here because every Christian:

• Battles with the same struggles and all of us are repeat offenders!

• The same failures can keep at times turn up again and again in the life of a Christian.

• Ill: Life is very circular;

• Certain battles we fought and we won and we assumed were finished;

• May well rear their ugly head in some other guise in the future.


• At a certain Children’s hospital;

• A boy had a reputation for wrecking havoc with the nurses and staff.

• Embarrassed by his behaviour his mother tried to blackmail him into being good.

• She made him a proposition.

• If you can behave for 24 hours;

• When I come back tomorrow I will give you a pound.

The next day the mother returned and looking her son straight in the eye said;

“I’m not going to ask the nurses or staff if you have behaved, I’m going to ask you.

You must tell me yourself, do you deserve the pound?”

• After a few minutes silence the boy said;

• “You had better give me 10p”

Maybe we can identify with that boy;

• Even after we have trusted Christ for many years:

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