Abraham Lies to Protect Sarah, Twice

God's Servant

Well-Known Member
First off I have to state I am not judging God or Abraham, I am just trying to understand who God is, and so this has made me curious.

In two instances Abraham visits foreign countries deemed sinful with his wife Sarah. The first time was Egypt, and the second time Gerar. Both times Abraham lied to the ruler of those countries about the relationship with his wife, saying she was his sister out of fear that they would kill him and take his wife.

First one was Genesis 12, second was Genesis 20

First off: Was he right to do that, or was he wrong to not trust God when He told him he would make him the father of nations and his descendants would be numerous like the grains of sand on the beach. That speaks out to me about fully trusting God's promises and not trying to do things our way out of fear or disbelief in God.

Secondly: God was ready to punish both rulers with death, and in fact Pharaoh was already plagued but lived. He tells Abimelech that he was "surely" dead for sinning against Him, but then when he says he didn't touch Sarah. God says I stopped you from sinning against Me. I think it's interesting that God puts fault on those rulers, even though they were misled by Abraham, and even God said to Abimelech that he knows he did this in the integrity of his heart.

So I am wondering were the rulers responsible for investigating further into the martial status of Sarah? And because they didn't God was judging them guilty?

I would love insight because I find this fascinating.
 

Spartan Sprinter 1

Well-Known Member
Hmm I can only give an opinionated answer on your first question in that Abraham is at fault here for not trusting the Lord to protect him.
Another example of this is when Abraham didn't trust the Lord completely that he would have a son in his old age and instead got his servant to bear a child before actually trusting that his actual wife Sarah would bare a child.

The consequence of this action now plays out to this day via the back and forth wars between Israel and the descendants of Ishmael
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
You know, just like Abraham, sometimes my faith falters when in the face of a human in a powerful position.....I'm letting the problem become bigger than God in my mind, check out vs 11 and Abraham's response to Abimelech and notice what was missing in his thinking.

It seems that God was gracious in that He allowed Abraham to learn from these situations that He is faithful, even with powerful people who may pose a threat. He allowed the situation to happen or play out.....but only so far (I call this controlled chaos, God letting things get chaotic but only as far as He wills). And God was gracious in letting Abraham develop his faith.

However, I also see how Abraham's response to his fear also caused harm and potential harm to many through his half truths, or half lies, to many people. Lying is very harmful people.

I see that God was gracious in protecting Sarah, that must have been quite the scary situation for her. She was in no way held responsible. And God came to her aid the very night she was taken into Abimelech's household. With Pharaoh it doesn't say how long Sarah was in his household. I do wonder if it was a bit longer because of the terrible plagues sent to him and his household.

And, I think God was gracious in not allowing Abimelech to touch Sarah. His position before God, with having Abraham's wife was pretty precarious and dangerous, unwittingly so. It seems that this position before God, having Abraham's wife, placed him on the path of being a dead man, thus God's comment as such.....which also served to get Abimelech's attention as to the seriousness of the situation. God was putting up blocks in Abimelech's life as well as inhibiting the women in his household from having children.

It's interesting that the text says that God spoke directly to Abimelech in a dream and Abimelech's response indicates that he very much knew of God and his ways. Perhaps he was a God fearing man. Whereas Pharaoh of Egypt and his household were subjected to plagues, terrible plagues. But Abimelech only had the wombs of the women of the household made barren and a gracious direct warning from God.

It seems that in contrast to Pharaoh, God was more gentle with Abimelech, but the situation still just as serious. Abimelech is recorded as being very responsive to God, Pharaoh was recorded to be responsive to the plagues. Perhaps this may show the state of the hearts here, the differences and what God knew was needed to motivate each heart.

I believe that God was very serious about this situation with both kings because The KING of all kings was meant to come through Sarah and Abraham. I think this was very serious because at stake was the salvation of many souls and this could not be jeopardized. God would not allow any block to Jesus Christ being born on earth nor His children through faith in His Son be inhibited from salvation by these situations.
 
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God's Servant

Well-Known Member
Are you referring to the "I thought" part? Why is it that we sometimes think we know better than God. He is so much more than us in thoughts and ways. We are just specks of dust. We should probably stop thinking and let God do it. Wait, all I have to do is trust and obey Him, and He will do all the planning, thinking? Yeah I think I like that much better.

I did read Abraham saying Sarah was his half-sister. Still, I think the point was, him omitting that she was also his wife, is the same as lying in the eyes of God. But God did not punish him. He knew he was man after all.

Sarah is very lucky that God showed her mercy when she mocked God by laughing at Him when He said she would bear Abraham a child at old age. He even confronted her about it, and she lied and said she did not laugh. But God was like yes you did! lol. We are all so lucky for grace, for how many times have we all mocked God or didn't believe Him which is also sin.

I guess God didn't intend to kill those Kings, maybe he only did what He did to warn them, because surely they were ignorant as to the real relationship between Abraham and Sarah.

Anyways thank you for replying. I just wanted to hear someone else on this matter. I think all the actions of God described in scriptures are fascinating, and I don't always understand it all. But I want to.
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
Are you referring to the "I thought" part? Why is it that we sometimes think we know better than God. He is so much more than us in thoughts and ways. We are just specks of dust. We should probably stop thinking and let God do it. Wait, all I have to do is trust and obey Him, and He will do all the planning, thinking? Yeah I think I like that much better.
Yes. His thinking was focused on the perceived problem rather than on the very capable and more than able God to protect Abraham from godless people and powerful leaders. So then a good question to ask is, What am I allowing my thoughts to dwell on, the problem or God?


Wait, all I have to do is trust and obey Him....
Yeah, and it seems that Abraham forgot that in these situations.

It's amazing how a different or new situation in my life can certainly overwhelm my faith. Usually it's new, it's scary and I'm scrambling to figure out how to deal with it. Well, there's been lots of those situations and little by little my response has become more and more.....ok, I'm going to trust God here, ask for His help and try not to panic. That's been good growth in faith as God has allowed life and it's challenges to shape that in me. With panic and fear comes bad decisions.

With remembering that God is faithful comes more peace and waiting on Him to help or show the way.
 

God's Servant

Well-Known Member
God is teaching me more and more to not allow anything that comes at me to phase me or cause me to question. More and more I am just thinking now "God is in control of my Life, His will is going to be done no matter what if I just trust Him, He won't allow anything to hurt me, and if He does, it is for my betterment and His glory!" Like today. My mom is in the hospital overnight, nothing major. But when I first heard about it, I didn't know. But I trusted God and had ZERO anxiety about it whilst I was at work today. I'm not a sociopath, I love my mom and of course I want her to be well, but I know God would take care of her. I tell you there is a peace that surpasses all understanding that God has given me, and it's only strengthening my faith in Him. I feel Him inside me, working in me. I feel myself becoming the caring, loving person God created me to be.

Sorry, went waaaaaaaaaay off track. But maybe it's not.
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
But when I first heard about it, I didn't know. But I trusted God and had ZERO anxiety about it whilst I was at work today. I'm not a sociopath, I love my mom and of course I want her to be well, but I know God would take care of her. I tell you there is a peace that surpasses all understanding that God has given me, and it's only strengthening my faith in Him. I feel Him inside me, working in me. I feel myself becoming the caring, loving person God created me to be.
Not off track at all. That is wonderful growth in the Lord! :nod Of course you care for your mom. But even better for her is to take her situation to the Lord for help and then act when it becomes apparent your help is needed (as you are checking up on her, etc.). Your response is a great application of Phillipians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Yes, it is a wonderful peace to be able to put those situations in His capable hands. :nod

Sometimes, as I've grown in the Lord, I've not always felt that complete peace but still a sense of confidence that He's here and in control. Those times there's been more unease and panic threatening to overwhelm.

And, those are the times I've really had to make a cognitive choice......the decision to choose to trust God even when everything points to the opposite. I've learned that was THE very best thing to do. God always came through (in His timing, way and often in unexpected ways) most importantly my faith grew, was strengthened and perseverance developed.

Trust me, I'm not a perfect human being but God is perfecting my faith. It sounds like He's doing the same for you. :)
 

Graceismine

Well-Known Member
Abraham was able truthfully to say he married his sister.

God uses sinners and saints, more often sinners to fulfill His work in the earth. The fact that in both cases, with Abimelech and Pharaoh I wonder if this was God's way of making Himself known to them. They did after all get guilty consciences. If we want to wonder about sinning Abraham, should he have married his sister? :oops:

BTW God's Servant, if you are in Christ Jesus your standing before God is that you are righteous. We praise Him for such an honour. 2Cor 5:21
 

Salluz

Well-Known Member
Abraham was able truthfully to say he married his sister.

God uses sinners and saints, more often sinners to fulfill His work in the earth. The fact that in both cases, with Abimelech and Pharaoh I wonder if this was God's way of making Himself known to them. They did after all get guilty consciences. If we want to wonder about sinning Abraham, should he have married his sister? :oops:

BTW God's Servant, if you are in Christ Jesus your standing before God is that you are righteous. We praise Him for such an honour. 2Cor 5:21
As far as I know, the prohibition against incest was only implemented when the Law was given to Moses. I can only guess on the reasoning for that (probably something to do with an increasing number of genetic diseases popping up at that time and going on due to harmful mutations?) But it wouldn't have been a sin before God told us not to do it
 

Graceismine

Well-Known Member
Yes, I agree there was nothing sinful in Abraham marrying his sister. Abraham did protest very strongly though when he said she was his sister as if "would I marry my sister"?
It is quite funny how we don't like to think that Abraham would lie to save himself, at the expense of his wife of all things. I myself would like to find an excuse for him ,because we have learned to love him wouldn't you say?
 

God's Servant

Well-Known Member
It is just an important lesson for me to trust God, no matter how powerful men seem to be. God is infinitely more powerful, than any of them. He is the true King. With absolute faith in God we can overcome literally anything through Jesus.

Example from my testimony: Whilst I was in jail at 18, a latin king member threatened to kill me every single day, but because I had total faith in God, He touched the heart of a violent criminal and he forgave me and said we were cool and even hugged me. That is the POWER of God. It's real. It's ours if we only believe!
 

Spartan Sprinter 1

Well-Known Member
It is just an important lesson for me to trust God, no matter how powerful men seem to be. God is infinitely more powerful, than any of them. He is the true King. With absolute faith in God we can overcome literally anything through Jesus.

Example from my testimony: Whilst I was in jail at 18, a latin king member threatened to kill me every single day, but because I had total faith in God, He touched the heart of a violent criminal and he forgave me and said we were cool and even hugged me. That is the POWER of God. It's real. It's ours if we only believe!
One of my fav stories was when Elisha asked the Lord to open the eyes of someone to show that the chariots and armies of the Lrd far outweighed the armies that were literally in front of them
 

God's Servant

Well-Known Member
Or Asa who called on the name of the Lord. There are a plethora of stories in the Old Testament of huuuuuuuuuuuge armies coming against Israel, but everytime Israel called on the Lord and had faith in Him, they always prevailed. But when they sinned, God would use those huge armies to punish and correct Israel. God can save or deliver into the hands of the enemy. He made every single person who ever lived, lives or will live. Everything in the universe is in His hand, He controls everything. That makes me so happy and gives me hope but also a reverent fear of the Lord.

"Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one like You to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on You, and in Your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, You are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against You.” -2 Chronicles 14:11

"The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded. He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you." -2 Chronicles 15:1-2
 

ItIsFinished!

Well-Known Member
Hmm I can only give an opinionated answer on your first question in that Abraham is at fault here for not trusting the Lord to protect him.
Another example of this is when Abraham didn't trust the Lord completely that he would have a son in his old age and instead got his servant to bear a child before actually trusting that his actual wife Sarah would bare a child.

The consequence of this action now plays out to this day via the back and forth wars between Israel and the descendants of Ishmael
Boom!
Exactly.

Goes to show you how even the sins of the children of God have a devastating impact.
We can choose our sins , but not the consequences.
 
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