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Daily Devotional Genesis 20:1–18

Have you ever misjudged someone? Many years ago, I started a job as a high school teacher. When I went in to organize my classroom, the school janitor saw me and sternly warned me that students should not be in the school building yet. He escorted me off the premises, refusing to believe that I was a teacher. (I looked a lot younger then!)

If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

2 TIMOTHY 2:13

Abimelek, the king of Gerar probably felt misjudged. In Genesis 20, Abraham acted on assumptions he made about the Canaanite king. We can understand why. Abraham was still not living in his homeland and was vulnerable to abuse and attack. He had also just discovered that there were not even ten righteous people living in Sodom (Gen. 18:32).

Abraham pulled the same deception he had done before and passed off his wife Sarah as his sister (Gen. 12:10–20). Abimelek called for Sarah to become one of his wives. Yet, before the marriage was official, Abimelek was warned by God not to touch Sarah. He obeyed, and asked Abraham to explain himself. Why did Abraham continue to doubt God’s protection? He knew God had promised to bless and preserve him and Sarah (Gen. 12:3; 15:1). God had promised to provide a son for Abraham through Sarah (Gen. 17:19). Surely God would not allow them to be killed before that promise was fulfilled.

The fact that Abraham was not perfect reassures us. We see that the fulfillment of God’s promises does not depend on our ability, talent, or reliability of His people. God chose Abraham not based on his merit, but because of grace. The same is true for us today. God sent the Lord Jesus to die for us, even though we did not deserve it. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).

Go Deeper

Why did Abraham and Sarah continue to doubt God’s promise and protection? What mistakes did they make?

Pray with Us

In Your mercy You “saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy that, having been justified by [Your] grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5-7).

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