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She Ain’t Your Sister, Abraham! (Genesis 20:2)

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Seriously, Abraham, I don’t know when you’ll give up this gag. 

You’ve already done this once when you told Pharaoh that Sarah was your wife (Genesis 12:10-20). Pharaoh suffered as a result; when are you going to stop making up this story?

Look, I get it. Your wife is gorgeous. Mine is too, but I don’t walk around telling people she’s my sister, no matter how much it will help us get out of sticky situations.

Seriously, Abraham. Just own up to it. You married a great lady. Own it.

Why Does Abraham Lie Again?

I wish I had some kind of answer for why Abraham tells the exact same lie about his sister. 

The only rational argument you could make is that Abraham’s wealth made him a target, and that by saying she was his sister instead of his wife, it made his presence more amenable. After all, they could get a piece of his wealth by marrying the sister; they’d have to kill him to get some of it if she was his wife.

So yeah, I get it.

But the bigger lesson for us here is how easy it is to fall back into the same old habits and/or defense mechanisms. Abraham’s progression of faith is one of my favorite stories in the Old Testament, and its partly because of how relatable is.

Through most of Genesis, Abraham seems bulletproof. Here, we see, he is not.

In fact, one of the best attributes of Scripture (if I can be bold enough to even say that) is it’s willingness to show us the warts of our heroes. David’s affair, Peter’s doubt, Elijah’s depression. We see larger than life figures come back down to earth often, which gives us strength knowing we don’t have to be superheroes to be God’s people.

Still…he should’ve known better.

Will Abraham Lie Again?

Thankfully, this is the last time we have record of Abraham lying about being married to his sister (what an awkward sentence).

But that doesn’t mean he never lied about anything. Truthfully, if you have a habit of lying to get out of a jam, you’ll most likely default to it unless you consciously make an effort to change it.

After all, Peter lied three times in a single night about knowing Jesus, despite proudly claiming that he would “die” with Jesus only a few hours earlier. His guard was down, he got scared, and he made a mistake. It happens.

We all need to think ahead about how we’ll respond in moments of panic. Daniel and his three friends made a decision ahead of time that they “wouldn’t defile themselves” with the King’s food. 

That small decision in Daniel 1, made about something relatively super small (food), paved the way for them to not bow to the idol (Daniel 3) and continue praying to God (Daniel 6).

Our faith is formed before the fire, not during it.

Had Abraham thought ahead, he would’ve made a decision to not lie. He didn’t, and it caused a mess.

Let’s not have this conversation again, Abraham!