Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Warning from God - "You are a dead man!"

I was reading yesterday about Abraham, Sarah and Abimelech in Genesis 20. God came to Abimelech and said, "Abimelech, you are a dead man." How would you like to be greeted this way by God? Abraham and Sarah were visiting the land where Abimelech was king. Sarah and Abraham had agreed that they would claim that they were brother and sister, which they were in a way. Sarah was his half sister, but more importantly, they were now husband and wife. God charged Abimelech with taking someone else's wife for himself.

Abimelech plead his innocence saying that the couple had said they were brother and sister. God's response is interesting. "Yes, I know that you did this in th integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against me, therefore I did not let you touch her."

I think we learn several things from this incident. First, God is serious about the sacredness of marriage. He doesn't take lightly the violation of marriage. Granted, today he doesn't go around threatening people in their dreams for their immorality, but his Word strongly condemns he promiscuous degradation of marriage that is so common today. All sin is serious to God and the penalty for being a sinner is death. So could could rightly come up to any of us and say, "You are a dead man."

The second thing we learn is that God intervened to actually prevent Abimelech from sinning against him. Abimelech wasn't a puppet. He didn't feel God restraining him against his will. In his own mind he was making decisions the whole time, but somehow God was at work to prevent the sin from occurring.  God's prevention of this sin was actually a loving act of grace because ultimately it saved Abimelech's life.

Doesn't it make you wonder how God is working in your life to prevent your going beyond some line God has established? And this in turn will allow you to come to know God and accept all of the grace he has for you. Jesus Christ was punished by God for all of the sins we have committed. This gives God the ability to grant us complete forgiveness for our sins. He saved Abimelech and he can save us as well.

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