They say the 11th commandment is “Thou shalt not get caught out”! People who are generally law-abiding, and try to live a good life on the whole usually fall by the wayside on this. They aren’t hardened to the criminal lifestyle, so when they do do something a little bit shady, or tell a ‘white lie’ they get embarrassed, go red and give themselves away. They haven’t developed the cunning ways of the well-established criminal!
So it was for Isaac, in Genesis 26 v 7 – 11. God told him to stay in Gerar. But because his wife Rebekah was beautiful, he was fearful that he might get bumped off by someone who wanted her for themselves, so he passed her off as his sister, just as his father Abraham had done in his time (Genesis 20). For Abimelech, it must have been dejà vu! Was it by chance that he happened to look out of his window and witness their marital embrace, or did he suspect, and spy on them? Whatever the case, he took it seriously, and put protection in place, so that no-one would be unknowingly disgraced.
The pretence had been going on a long time, but Isaac could not keep it up. His love for his wife brought about an indiscretion that caught him out. It’s a shame that when he had heard the story of Abraham with Abimelech, he had not learned the right lessons! He remembered the deceit bit, but not the outcome. Just as with Abraham, Abimelech was more concerned about the retribution from the God they served, and saw the wisest course of action was to protect Isaac and his wife. Isaac, just like his father, should have remembered God’s promise and known he was safe just because of that.
Trickery hadn’t worked for Abraham, and it didn’t work for Isaac. Trusting God was what worked.
My niece posted on Facebook this morning –
JJ – ” Jesus lives in heaven doesn’t he ?”
It’s that simple faith we grown-ups lack. Trusting God is what works!