My Sister? My Bride?
January 15 - Nº 15 Genesis 20
Déjà vu. It’s the feeling you get that you’ve “been there before.” It leads you to think that you have seen the same things, felt the same way, and maybe even reacted in a similar manner. No doubt you will experience déjà vu if you read through Genesis 20. It has so many of the same components as the story in chapter 12:10-20 (see #9 - January 9).
Once again Abraham was on the move, probably searching for better grazing lands for his herds just as he had before. But this time, instead of traveling all the way to Egypt, he was able to find pasture in Gerar.
Once again Sarah’s beauty was noticed and desired by the ruling monarch. This time his name is Abimelek.
Once again Abraham chose to reveal only half the truth about their relationship.
Once again Sarah was taken into the palace harem (housing for the king’s wives) putting both her and the king in a difficult and dangerous situation.
Once again God had to intervene while Abraham was making excuses instead of seeking forgiveness.
Although he had learned to trust God through many difficult circumstances, when his own life became threatened Abraham reverted to lying to protect himself. He had selected this as his default setting early on in his journey. He even coached Sarah how to lie. Once again, he told her to identify herself only as his sister—not as his wife (vs. 13). He hoped this half-truth would keep other men from killing him to have access to his beautiful wife. Even after his dangerous experience in Egypt, Abraham never made any effort to re-program his default settings. He should have wiped lying from his hard drive and made up his mind to be 100% truthful all the time. He should have chosen to trust God’s ability to handle the outcome instead of his own. But he didn’t—so he remained vulnerable. When he found himself in the same set of circumstances as before, he committed the same sin. Déjà vu! BTW, you will notice that Abraham was quick to point out the sinfulness of the people in Gerar (see vs. 11), without realizing that he struggled with exactly the same sin. No matter how great our relationship is with God, there are certain sins that plague us for life if we don’t consciously try to defeat them. And they can be passed on from one generation to another. (In Genesis 26, we read that Isaac—Abraham’s son—did the same thing in the same place!)
Is there a déjà vu sin that you find yourself easily defaulting to? If so, why do you think you use it? How can you reprogram your life to eliminate this default setting before it becomes a habit or even an addiction? As in Abraham’s situation, any sin will eventually cause damage in your life as well as in the lives of others.