Isaac Lied About Rebekah. When Will It Stop? (Genesis 26:9)

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In Genesis 12, Abraham lies about his wife being his sister.

In Genesis 20, he does it again.

Both times, he is clearly in the wrong. He lies because he’s scared for his life, and the people that he lies to are forced to act quickly in order to save the situation.

But then, in Genesis 26, his son Isaac does the exact same thing.

Seriously, I don’t know why we keep having this conversation. I don’t know why Abraham lies twice and now his son is making the same mistake. Is there someone else coming later that will lie about their wife being their sister (thankfully, no)?!


To add to it, Isaac lies for the exact same reason that his father did — to save his life. Because his wife is so gorgeous, he’s scared they’ll kill him and take him for themselves.  Abimelech then sees them together, and rightfully concludes that she’s his wife, NOT his sister.

His speech to Isaac is noteworthy. He scolds Isaac for the deception, saying that one of the men could have taken his wife — thinking she was single — and brought down shame and destruction about all of them.

That’s the real issue with lying, isn’t it? Besides the fact that Abraham and Isaac’s lies betray a lack of trust in God, what they fail to consider is how their lies impact those around them.

In Genesis 12, Pharoah and his household are struck by plagues.

In Genesis 20, King Abimelech is told by God in a dream that he’ll die for taking Sarah.

Now, in Genesis 26, King Abimelech (probably a different king but using the same title) reminds Isaac that someone else could have died for Isaac’s lie. Why didn’t he think about that?

Ask it a different way. Why didn’t David realize that his sin with Bathsheba would destroy so many lives? Why didn’t Peter realize that his hypocrisy would cause Barnabas to fall into sin?

When we’re scared and/or deep in sin, we never think about others. All we think about is saving our own sin, and that’s the real tragedy of the moment. Even though we think our sins only affect us, they almost always — ALWAYS — affect others.

And often times in ways we can’t foresee.