Nov 18, 2010

Thursday Bible Study 6 Am Panera Bread (Genesis 20)

*  Abraham walked from land to land doing at first what God had told Abraham to do.                                 But was Abraham perfect in his obedience?  Nope! This is shown in Genesis 20 where the basic story line is: (The Beginning) Abraham a stranger in a strange land, walks into the kingdom of the Philistines and the household of Abimelech.  
 (The Middle) Abraham begins to doubt and creates a schema apart from God that will have him tell Sarah, pretend that you are my sister, and that way they won't kill me for having such a beaudacious wife."  Abilimich* takes Sarah into his household.  

(The End) God intercedes in a dream and tells Abimilich that Sarah is actually Abraham's husband.   God also tells Abimilich that peace will only come if he asks Abraham to petition God in prayer, on his behalf.   HE also tells Abimilich that Sarah is to be returned to Abraham immediately.  The household is restored and the Good Old Philistine Times continue. 

Strange story and what is God actually telling his people here?  The first thing that was clear to me is that Abraham is a priest, and a prophet.  The second thing that is clear to me is that Abraham even though a holy man, the father of the faithful, is not perfect in his walk with God.  However, an imperfect priest should not be "condemed as a hypocrite who fall into sin, if they do not continue in it."  (Matthew Henry)**  As long as the priest is moved to repentance he can petition God on the behalf of others. 
Abraham sin was walking in doubt of God, and taking manners into his own hands.***     God had promised in Genesis 15:15  "As for yourself, you shall live go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age."   Yet, Abraham doubted.   Yet, Abraham created a schema, here's the story we will play, and this is our roles.  Yet, Abraham put his family in danger because he did not pray for God to tell him how to remain calm as a stranger in a troubled land.
Man has a need for spiritual restoration.  This need leave us requiring a greater perfected pastor, rabbi, priest,  who can truly petition God on the naturally sinful man's behalf.   This perfect redeemer is Jesus Christ. Thanks be to the LORD's mighty plan to restore his kingdom into a state of shalom.  
*(The name means-the (divine) king is my father).
**Henry, Matthew Commentary on the Whole Bible (Nashville Tennessee: Thomas Nelson inc,  1997).
***(I am sure there are other sins to mention, but for this discussion lets keep it simple.).
Does the goal justify the means?
What is Abraham's idea of God?
Why do we feel it necessary to self justify when we don't see the answers before us, especially in matters of faith?

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