Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her.Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all who belong to you will die.” Genesis 20:6-7
Have you ever been rescued or defended by a friend for a foolish mistake you made? Sometimes, God gifts us with these kinds of faithful, loyal friends because He knows how to be one!
In Scripture, we find Abraham to be a very flawed man. He may have had an incredible faith in God, but there were moments when fear got the best of him. He allowed Sarah, his wife, to be taken by the rulers of the land twice. First was by Pharaoh (Gen. 12:10-20) in Egypt; second was by Abimelech (Gen.20) in Gerar. On both occasions, Abraham and Sarah pretended to be merely brother and sister and not husband and wife. This made her a worthy, attractive marriage pawn among the rulers who saw Abraham as someone who could assimilate and trade with them. This “sister-trade” would also serve as protection–a bargain—for Abraham.
God, of course, did not like this arrangement at all! And thankfully, He stepped in. He afflicted Pharaoh and his household with serious ailments. Then in Gerar, God closed up every womb in Abimelech’s household.
I find this is rather amazing because it was Abraham who had deceived the rulers in the first place! Another reason why I find this amazing is because Abraham should have learned from his foolishness the first time around with Pharaoh. Apparently, he had not.
Despite Abraham’s cowardice, God, the Creator of the Universe and the Destiny Giver, was still his friend and did what only the BEST-EST friend could do. He intervened before Sarah could be inappropriately touched by both leaders. The mess that Abraham got Sarah entangled into was graciously untangled by God.
This makes me believe that God CAN intervene in our situation, even when we are at fault. It is true that many times, we bear the consequences of our actions and like Abraham, must acknowledge our wrongdoing. However, friendship with the Lord means that we have Someone, a Friend, who can back us up and turn our mistakes into the stepping stones of learning. But just like any true friend, He also reveals to us our serious errors and sins!
Do we know God as friend? He is certainly Father. He is definitely Creator. But He is also Friend—the very best friend one can ever have.
Perhaps we should start knowing and experiencing this facet about Him. Let’s not be afraid to desire this and be His friend in return.
Janina Marie Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine, a teacher of world literature, and a student of the Bible. She enjoys reflecting on life’s curve balls and plateaus. She resides in the Philippines, the country known for people who smile a lot.