Vindication = Obedience

Genesis chapter 20 opens with a familiar tone, verses 1-2, state, " 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, and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, she is my sister. Then Abimelek, king of Gerar, sent for Sarah and took her." If this sounds familiar, Abram made a similar statement in Genesis chapter 12. The story shares more similarities as God, our ever-present savior who neither slumbers nor sleeps as stated in Psalm (121:4), steps in. As the story continues in verses 3-7, "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. Now Abimelek had not gone near her, so he said, Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 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. 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. 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." Please don't miss this. God called Abraham a prophet. A prophet is known as one who speaks for God. Even in his sin, God did not abandon Abraham. This is the first time Abraham is called a prophet. I want to encourage you today that God is with you no matter what challenges you are facing. The next few chapters record a conversation between Abimelek and Abraham. During this discourse, Abraham made an interesting statement to Abimelek's inquiry about why he chose not to say that Sarah was his wife. It is recorded in verse 11, which states, "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." Proverbs 8:13 states, "To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech." For this blog, we will focus on Sarah's obedience to God and her husband. I can't imagine how Sarah felt during that time; however, Sarah's obedience is a good example of standing in the middle of a test—not relying on fickle feelings or our thoughts but in obedience to the word of God. Abraham's journey with God did not go unobserved by Sarah through the years, and she knew that she could trust God because she saw His faithfulness to her family. In verse 16, Abimelek, states "To Sarah he said, I am giving your brother a thousand shekels of silver, this is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated." Let me end with Ephesians 2:8-10 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works so that no one can boast. For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Sarah's behavior epitomizes the above verses. The next time you find yourself in a challenging situation, remember obedience to the word of God trumps everything.

Remember, God loves you, and so do I.

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