Genesis 20* Abraham's sojourn at Gerar, Sarah is taken by Abimelech. (1-8)Abimelech's rebuke to Abraham. (9-13) Abimelech restores Sarah.(14-18)1-8 Crooked policy will not prosper: it brings ourselves andothers into danger. God gives Abimelech notice of his danger ofsin, and his danger of death for his sin. Every wilful sinner isa dead man, but Abimelech pleads ignorance. If our conscienceswitness, that, however we may have been cheated into a snare, wehave not knowingly sinned against God, it will be our rejoicingin the day of evil. It is matter of comfort to those who arehonest, that God knows their honesty, and will acknowledge it.It is a great mercy to be hindered from committing sin; of thisGod must have the glory. But if we have ignorantly done wrong,that will not excuse us, if we knowingly persist in it. He thatdoes wrong, whoever he is, prince or peasant, shall certainlyreceive for the wrong which he has done, unless he repent, and,if possible, make restitution. 9-13 See here much to blame, even in the father of thefaithful. Mark his distrust of God, his undue care about life,his intent to deceive. He also threw temptation in the way ofothers, caused affliction to them, exposed himself and Sarah tojust rebukes, and yet attempted an excuse. These things arewritten for our warning, not for us to imitate. Even Abrahamhath not whereof to glory. He cannot be justified by his works,but must be indebted for justification, to that righteousnesswhich is upon all and unto all them that believe. We must notcondemn all as hypocrites who fall into sin, if they do notcontinue in it. But let the unhumbled and impenitent take heedthat they do not sin on, thinking that grace may abound.Abimelech, being warned of God, takes the warning; and beingtruly afraid of sin and its consequences, he rose early topursue the directions given him. 14-18 We often trouble ourselves, and even are led intotemptation and sin, by groundless suspicions; and find the fearof God where we expected it not. Agreements to deceive generallyend in shame and sorrow; and restraints from sin, though bysuffering, should be thankfully acknowledged. Though the Lordrebuke, yet he will pardon and deliver his people, and he willgive them favour in the sight of those with whom they sojourn;and overrule their infirmities, when they are humbled for them,so that they shall prove useful to themselves and others.
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