Abraham and Abimelech
Genesis 20:1-7
And Abraham journeyed from there toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.…

The thing that is most remarkable in the whole story is that God should apparently have taken Abraham's part instead of humbling and punishing him in the sight of the heathen.

1. Observe, first of all, that if the Divine purpose was to be turned aside by the fault or blemish found in individual character, the Divine government of man is at an end, and human progress is an impossibility. Adam failed, so did Noah, so Abraham, so did Lot. It was not Adam that sinned, or Noah, or Abraham, it was human nature that sinned. Pharaoh seemed to be a better man than Abraham, but he was not so in reality. You say that Abimelech was better than Abraham; now let me ask you what you know about Abimelech? Nothing but what is stated in this chapter. Very well Yea are so far right. You have seen Abimelech at his best and you have seen Abraham at his worst, and then you have rushed to a conclusion! This is not the right way to read history; certainly it is not the right way to read the Bible. We are not to set act against act, but life against life. This, then, is the point at which I find rest when I am disturbed by the evident painful immortality of illustrious Bible characters, viz., human nature has never been perfect in all its qualities, energies, and services; the perfection of human nature can be wrought out only by longcontinued and severe probation; in choosing instruments for the representation of His will and the execution of His purposes, God has always chosen men who were best fitted on the whole for such ministry, though in some particulars they have disastrously and pitiably failed. When I think I could have improved God's plan, the mistake is mine, because my vision is dim and I never can see more than a very limited section of any human character.

2. In the next place consider, knowing human nature as we do, how beneficial a thing it was to the great men themselves to be shown now and again that they were imperfect, and that they were only great and strong as they were good — as they were true to God.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.

WEB: Abraham traveled from there toward the land of the South, and lived between Kadesh and Shur. He lived as a foreigner in Gerar.

Abimelech's Plea Accepted
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