“Then God said to him in the dream, ‘Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her.”
There’s a ton we could talk about in this chapter. When Abraham journeys into the territory of Abimelech, the King of Gerar, he takes Sarah and there’s a lot that goes on here that Abraham does, that Abimelech does. The whole point in this verse that I just read and what I want to draw attention to, as we pray, is God saying to Abimelech, “I know you’ve done this in the integrity of your heart.” In other words, not defiled Abraham’s wife. “It was I,” God says, “who kept you from sinning against me.”
The only way you and I can resist sin and overcome temptation is by the power of God.
The picture here in Genesis 20:6 is what we see all over the Bible. The only way you and I can resist sin and overcome temptation is by the power of God. This is why Jesus teaches us to pray, lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, because he knows that laugh to ourselves, we will wander. Left to ourselves, we will sin, left to ourselves we will turn from God’s good ways to our own evil and wicked ways. Evil and wicked is the right word. Anything apart from God’s good ways is evil and wicked. This is what we are all prone to do in our sinfulness, which is why we need God’s mercy, not just at one point in our life when we put our faith in Jesus and we ask him to forgive us of our sins, we enter into relationship with him through faith, but it’s not just that moment when we need his mercy, we need his mercy at every single moment.
The beauty is God promises to give us new mercy every single morning, every single day, all day long at every moment. So this is the Christian life, a life of moment by moment, dependence on the mercy and power, grace, strength, love, and help of God. Let me say that one more time. This is the Christian life, moment by moment, dependence on the mercy and grace and strength and power and help of God. The beauty is he has put his spirit inside of us to give us all those things at every moment, as we look to Him and lean on Him and trust in him, not just at that point previously in our lives, but as we trust in him, moment by moment all throughout the day.
God, we look to you now, we lean upon you now and all day long today. As we lie our heads on our pillows at night, as we wake up the next morning, we need your new mercy every morning. We need your new mercy every moment. God, we confess right now that none of us can stand against sin and temptation on our own. None of us can experience the good life, the abundant life that you have created us to live, designed us to live, called us to live.
We are all prone to turn from your ways, to our own ways. So, God, we pray for your help right now. We pray that you would help us to be cognizant of our need for your help and your mercy and your power at every moment, all day long, today, tonight, tomorrow. In all that we do, we say, based on your word in John 15:5, Jesus, we can do nothing without you. It is you who keep us from sinning. It is you who keep us in you. So we pray, keep us close, in every way we need you at every moment. We trust in the help and the mercy and the power and the grace and the love and the strength, all these things that you promise to provide for us through the presence of your spirit in us. Oh God, thank you for the Christian life. Thank you for the privilege of living in the moment by moment, dependence on an experience of your help and mercy. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.