It was interesting that a whole chapter in the book of Genesis was dedicated to a lie and the surprised blessing that followed. God does not condone lying, and this chapter does not justify occasional sins for the greater good. But it does present the assurance that even in moments of our weaknesses, when we confess them before the Lord, He is more than able to turn it around for good. Furthermore, God’s grace is tenacious, and He will continue to use us even when we falter. Having said these, it is important to clarify that God’s blessing to Abimelek was not the result of Abraham’s lie. So what did Abimelek do that made God bless him and his household?
1. Abimelek feared the Lord.
Abraham made an erroneous judgement when he thought that there was no fear of God in the city (v11). Abimelek did fear the Lord and maintained a clear conscience before God (v6). Because God knew, He sovereignly kept Abimelek from the actual act of sin (v6).
2. Abimelek had faith in the Lord.
Faith is believing and acting in accordance to God’s word. And Abimelek did just that. Abimelek honoured Abraham as God’s prophet and extended great generosity and grace, even though Abraham had earlier on put Abimelek and his nation in a dire state. The actions of Abimelek showed that his determination to trust God and His word before his own emotion.
3. Abimelek made peace with those he offended.
Even though Abimelek did not finally touched Sarah, the very act of taking Sarah into his chamber would have damaged Sarah’s chastity to a degree. For that account, Abimelek gave Abraham 1000 shekels of silver and vindicated her of her reprove. By doing so, Abimelek made peace with Sarah and those who were with her.
It was for the reasons above that God acceded to Abraham’s prayer, and healed Abimelek, his wife and their female slaves of barrenness. God blessed them with posterity and a future. Today, may we too learn to fear the Lord, have faith in God’s words and instructions, and do our best to live in peace, or make peace, with people around us. When we do that, God showed that He is merciful and gracious to heal, restore and pour His blessings onto our lives. No matter what kinds of falls we’ve had in our lives, God can indeed turn our lives around, and work all things for good for those who loved Him and called according to His purposes (Rom 8:28).