Genesis 20

"There is surely no fear of God in this place" (v11). Really? "Early the next morning Abimelech summoned all his officials, and when he had told them all that had happened, they were very much afraid." (v8) It seems that the royal household does fear God. But even if they didn't, the real problem in this story comes from the fact that Abraham himself doesn't fear God as much as he fears Abimelech. I can't decide that I know what's best – whatever new country I find myself in – but I must follow God's commands and promises and trust him to take care of the rest. Fearing God just means treating him as if he were God.

Dodgy leadership matters. In this case Abraham, as head of the family, had the wrong priorities and this lead Sarah in the wrong direction, causing her to lie. While this doesn't abdicate her of responsibility, there is responsibility on leaders. They must set an example in prayerfulness, submission and obedience, dependance on God, purity and all the fruit of the Spirit (Galations 5:22-3).

This chapter shows (again!) how merciful God is. This is the second time Abraham has done this and God would be well within his rights to just give up on him. But he protects Sarah so as to remain faithful to the promise he gave to Abraham that she would bear him a child. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!

Heavenly Father, thankyou for your immense love that you have showered on me. Let me remember how faithful you are, and so treat you and no other as God. Let me take up the responsibility of leadership, cherishing the example of your Son, always trusting in your Spirit for my strength and direction and only for your glory. Amen.

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