Summary: Sometimes when you've made the same dumb mistake again, you get a vague sense of déjà vu. That's what Abraham got when Abimelek rebuked him for lying about Sarah being his sister. Let's don't keep falling into the same sins!
1. Abraham bought himself a fancy new computer and was showing it to Isaac one day. "Look at all the wonderful programs it has on it. And look at all the neat things it can do."
2. Isaac was impressed but a little concerned. "But, Dad, I don't think your computer has enough memory."
3. Abraham said, "Don't worry, Son; the Lord will provide the RAM."
1. When my boys were little, some relative gave them the old Star Wars trilogy. They must have watched it 100 times; they could quote each line. I’m amazed they could ever watch it again.
2. For me it’s like Thanksgiving Turkey – I can only eat it so many times. After that it becomes nauseating and I’ll feel like I’m getting sick to eat it.
3. As we read tonight’s text, you’ll recognize a rerun in the life of Abraham. Let’s find out it’s relevant to us.
4. The title of this message is “Embarrassing Reruns.”
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.’” 17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelek, his wife and his female slaves so they could have children again.
I. ABRAHAM’S CHARACTER FLAW RESURFACES
A. ABRAHAM’S SIN
1. As you read this you get a vague sense of déjà vu; like this has happened before. Yes, it has.
2. In Gen. 12:10-20, Abraham & Sarah passed off the same story in Egypt with Pharaoh and his officials.
3. The results were much the same: Pharaoh took Sarah into his harem and God afflicted Pharaoh’s house with diseases.
B. WHAT IS HIS SIN?
1. ‘Fear’ drove Abraham to get his wife to lie and say they were brother & sister.
2. Probably it was a lack of faith in God’s preserving power (or unbelief) drove this decision.
C. SIN IS NO ONE’S FAULT BUT OUR OWN
1. Abraham was good at rationalization.
2. HIS THREE EXCUSES:
a. Thought, “There’s no fear of God in this place.”
b. They’ll kill me to get her.
c. “Besides, she really is my sister.” [“Technically, I didn’t lie.” However, he was trying to deceive them into thinking she WASN’T his wife!
3. Fear can drive you to do a lot of wrong things. Abraham also assumed the worst. That’s a trap many fall into. We should have faith and believe God for the best!
4. We’re all good at rationalizing our sins:
a. We SIDESTEP responsibility by pointing to our upbringing.
b. W shift BLAME to others, for the way we are.
c. We JUSTIFY OURSELVES – “everyone is doing it.”