Summary: Abraham & Abimelech. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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: