In Genesis Chapter 20, we see how Abraham relies on his own schemes and risks his wife's security instead of relying on God and His everlasting promises and power.
1. For the second time Abraham is in a foreign land and tells everyone that Sarah's his sister. And like the first time, the king of the foreign land takes Sarah into his harem. The first occurrence is in Genesis chapter 12. Review the last ten verses of Genesis 12 to compare the events. How are they similar and how are they different in the categories shown below?
Note: The language cited below is from the Holman Christian Standard Bible and may not be exactly the same in your translation.
2. If we review the story of Abraham, we see that that God is faithful in His promise to Abraham. Fill in the blanks using the references given.
The Lord promised Abraham that He would make him into a great nation (12:2), and give his offspring the promised land (12:7). This initial mention of God's promise occurred when Abraham was about 75 years old (12:4). This happened just before the first occurrence of Sarah being taken into Pharaoh's harem.
Then, Abraham leaves Egypt and the Lord tells him when he arrives back in the promised land that He would make Abraham's offspring like the dust of the earth - so many that no one could count them (13:16). Then, God promises Abraham that:
By the time Abraham is about 86 years old, which was about ten or eleven years later (16:3), God promises Abraham (via the angel who spoke to Hagar) that Abraham would ___________ by Hagar (16:11-16).
About 13 years later (16:16), when Abraham's 99 years old (17:1), God promises him:
Within that same year (17:1; 21:5), God promises him that his wife Sarah would have a son. He also explains it will be within a year's time and assures Abraham that He can do it because __________________ (18:10-14).
What God promises He delivers because He is faithful. If He says He will do something then He will. God cannot lie. Also, because God is all powerful, He can deliver on His promise no matter what it is.
3. Which of God's promises are you most thankful for, or which of His promises do you cherish the most?
4. How does God protect the innocent in similar ways in both Genesis chapter 19 and again in Genesis chapter 20?
5. What is the irony of Abraham praying for Abimelech and what may it have reminded Abraham about the power of God?
6. What does verse 6 of Genesis Chapter 20 teach us about God and what does it tell us about Abimelech?
7. List two things that Abimelech learned about the God of Abraham in this encounter.
8. God prevented Abimelech from sinning against Him according to verse six of Genesis Chapter 20. This is an extraordinary statement! God prevented Abimelech from sinning by preventing him from sexual relations with Sarah. He knew that if He didn't act that Abraham's fear would lead to Abimelech's sin which would upset His plan.
God had just told Abraham when He made a covenant with him that Sarah would have a son within a year's time. We know that this happened when Abraham was 99 years old (17:1,17). We also know that when God gave a child to Sarah, it was after this event and that Abraham was 100 years old (21:5).
Therefore, it follows that had Abimelech taken Sarah, it would have come around the time frame of Sarah's conception. God knew His promise and He always protects His promises. He promised Abraham Sarah would have a son within a year's time and he protected that promise by not letting Abimelech take Sarah.
Abraham, was at times like we are today - forgetful of how faithful and powerful our God is when He makes a promise. What can we do to strengthen our faith in the promises of God to become stronger in our faith like Abraham came to be (Romans 4:20-21)?
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We pray this Bible Study on Genesis Chapter 20 has been a blessing to you.