Then 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.” And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you see, that you did this thing?” Abraham 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.’ Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. And 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.”’”
Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and male servants and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and returned Sarah his wife to him. And Abimelech said, “Behold, my land is before you; dwell where it pleases you.” To 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 all who are with you, and before everyone you are vindicated.” Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children. For the LORD had closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
Comment; It is very sad when your side’s bad behaviour is ‘shown up’ by the other side’s excellent actions. We have a common humanity but God did so much for Abraham that you can’t help being embarrassed by his shonky dealing with Abimelech. Abimelech obviously heard what God had said to him and acted extraordinarily graciously in his backing out of what could have led into a very serious, and even warring, situation. Abraham tried to explain his behaviour in causing the mess, minimizing the evil that he had done. The following sentence – “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver. It is a sign of your innocence in the eyes of all who are with you, and before everyone you are vindicated.” – needs some thinking about. I suspect that it may clearly exonerate Sarah, while giving Abraham a gentle punch in his solar plexus! Abimelech congratulations – you acted as a good man!
Prayer: Help me to act honourably and with integrity please.