In relation to doing anything well, consistency is key. In matters of faith, inconsistency is perilous. Succumbing to fear and faulty thinking, Abraham endangered his wife and others when he wavered from the path of faith. Alistair Begg warns us to consider the detrimental effects of an inconsistent Christian walk. We must guard against settling for anything less than God’s best for our lives.
1From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb and lived between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar. 2And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. 3But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man's wife.” 4Now Abimelech had not approached her. So he said, “Lord, will you kill an innocent people? 5Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” 6Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. 7Now then, return the man's wife, for he is a prophet, so that he will pray for you, and you shall live. But if you do not return her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”
8So Abimelech rose early in the morning and called all his servants and told them all these things. And the men were very much afraid. 9Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? And how have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me things that ought not to be done.” 10And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you see, that you did this thing?” 11Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, ‘There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ 12Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. 13And when God caused me to wander from my father's house, I said to her, ‘This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, “He is my brother.”’”
14Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and male servants and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and returned Sarah his wife to him. 15And Abimelech said, “Behold, my land is before you; dwell where it pleases you.” 16To Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver. It is a sign of your innocence in the eyes of all1 who are with you, and before everyone you are vindicated.” 17Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children. 18For the Lord had closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham's wife.
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.
Abraham’s journey of faith could be described as a series of new beginnings. Although his walk contained many pitfalls and failures, Abraham learned that with God, failure is never final. Abraham’s trust grew with each new beginning as he responded in obedience to God’s call. Throughout this series from Genesis, Alistair Begg explores faith as expressed through the changes and challenges of life. The measure of our faith grows as our understanding of God’s character grows, and we can walk boldly in light of His promises.
|One Man's Background||Genesis 11:27-32|
|Pitching Tents and Building Altars||Genesis 12:1-9|
|A Failure of Nerve||Genesis 12:10-20|
|Let's Have No Quarreling||Genesis 13:1-8|
|Abram to the Rescue||Genesis 14:1-24|
|How Can I Be Right with God?||Genesis 15:1-6|
|Faith in the Waiting Room||Genesis 16:1-15|
|The Covenant Confirmed||Genesis 17:1-27|
|The Principles and Practice of Intercession||Genesis 18:16-33|
|The Peril of Inconsistency||Genesis 20:1-18|
|Faith Put to the Test, Part One||Genesis 22:1-8|
|Faith Put to the Test, Part Two||Genesis 22:9-19|