OceanSide church of Christ

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Genesis 20

Victor M. Eskew


I.           The Title of Genesis 20


A.   Deeds that Ought Not to Be Done (Gen. 20:9)

B.    Oh Yea, She Is Also My Wife (Gen. 20:2)

C.   Abraham Deceives Abimelech

D.   Abraham and Sarah Do It Again

E.    He Almost Sinned Because of Another’s Deception

F.     Sincerity Does Not Cover Sin


II.         Key Verse of Genesis 20:  Genesis 20:9


Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What has thou done unto us?  And what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin?  Thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done.


Why this verse?  There seems to be some debate on whether Abraham really lied to Abimelech.  The words of Abimelech indicate that Abraham has committed “deeds that ought not to be done.”


III.       The Outline of Genesis 20


i.               The Deception (Gen. 20:1-2)

ii.              The Dream (Gen. 20:3-7)

iii.            The Discussion (Gen. 20:8-13)

iv.            The Dispersement (Gen. 20:14-16)

v.              The Deferment (Gen. 20:17-18)


IV.        The Lessons from Genesis 20


A.   Men will protect themselves, even if they must deceive to do it (Gen. 20:2).


And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister:  and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.


B.    One is not justified to sin, even if he has been deceived into committing sin (Gen. 20:3).


But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, Thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife.






C.   Sincerity does not justify sin (Gen. 20:4-5)


But Abimelech had not come near her:  and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?  Said he not unto me, She is my sister?  And she, even she herself said, He is my brother:  in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.


D.   God sees and knows all the affairs of men (Gen. 20:6).


And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me:  therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.


E.    Sin carries some very serious consequences (Gen. 20:7).


Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live; and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, Thou, and all that are thine.


F.     A wise man warns his home of impending wrath (Gen. 20:8).


Therefore Abimelech arose early in morning, and called all his servants, and told them all these things in their ears:  and the men were sore afraid.


G.   Abimelech had ought with Abraham and brought the matter to his attention (Gen. 20:9).


Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us?  And what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me, and on my kingdom a great sin?  Thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done.


1.     Jesus exhorts us to solve personal matters between one another before making them public (Matt. 18:15).


Moreover if thy brother trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone:  if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained by brother.


2.     This may be one of the most neglected commands of individual Christians.


H.   A half-truth does not account for the whole truth (Gen. 20:12).


And yet indeed she is my sister:  she is the daughter of my father; but not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife.


I.     Could it be that Abimelelch was also at fault?  He should have made certain that Sarah was lawful to be married.  Thus, Abimelech had to make restitution to Abraham and Sarah (Gen. 20:14-16).  NOTE:  It is also possible that Abimelech was a righteous man.  When he heard that Abraham was a prophet, he sought to bless the prophet.  Too, he did all in his power to rectify the situation with Abraham and Sarah.


J.    God allows men to make supplications and intercessions for others (Gen. 20:17).


So Abraham prayed unto God and God healed Abimlelech, and his wife, and his maid-servants; and they bare children.


K.   Verse 18 gives us insight into the words that God spoke to Abimelech in Genesis 20:3, saying:  Behold thou art but a dead man.


For the Lord had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham’s wife.