Abraham replied, “I said to myself,
‘There is surely no fear of God in this place,
and they will kill me because of my wife.’
Genesis 20:11 (NIV)
I have only met one person who claimed he never sinned. He was a high school teacher and was sponsoring the Christian young people at the school where he taught. Because some of the youth of the church I pastored at the time went to his after school Bible studies, I wanted to ask the man to cease teaching biblical error to my young people.
I will never forget the fascination I had with “the perfect man“. He seemed to have a good grasp of Scripture, but had misunderstood some verses in 1 John where the King James version of the Bible says in 1 John 3:6 “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not:”
A better translation of this verse is: “Whoever abides in him does not practice sin”. John had already stated in 1 John 1:8 that if we say we do not sin we deceive ourselves. There was only one perfect Man and that Man is the Lord Jesus Christ.
All of us are sinners in one way or another. This is certainly true of Abraham—the man of faith. Even though Abraham was a man characterized by faith in the Lord, there were times when he doubted the Lord. The story in Genesis 20 makes this clear.
Abraham was unfaithful but never did God give up on him. This is a remarkable truth to get hold of, especially when we stumble. God does not cast us aside when we fail Him miserably. Certainly, when we doubt the promises of God and lie like doubting Abraham— or commit some other sin—we need to repent and seek forgiveness from the Lord.
What is especially heartening about God’s dealings with His stumbling servant is the remarkable patience shown Abraham. No earthly parent ever proved as faithful to a prodigal child as God is with those He has chosen for Himself.
God always deserves better than we as sinners give Him. No matter how badly we are soiled in sin, our faithful Shepherd rescues us, sets our feet back onto the path of obedience, and grants us grace to serve Him another day.
If you or some believer you know has fallen into some sin, remember the encouraging exhortation of Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
fixing our eyes on Jesus…”
Like Abraham rise up to serve the Lord another day. He is waiting for you to come back to His loving embrace and to renew your vows to Him. Do not keep Him waiting.