Monday, September 12, 2016

Whoa, That's a Tough Dream!

Ah, Monday morning, that time of the week when we can look forward to a good week of work with purpose. Did I hear you voice a doubt there? Does your work not make you anticipate the week with an eager air? Do your dreams on Sunday night say, "You shall surely die!"? Okay, maybe the dreams aren't that bad, but a man named Abimelech had just such a dream.

But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, “Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.” (Gen 20:3)

Whoa, that's a tough dream! When God says that you are a dead man that would be a dream that would tend to stick in your memory the following morning. However your week and job may look, at least you didn't (I hope) start out with a dream like that.

What was Abimelech's excuse for this terrible sin? He didn't know. Yes, Abimelech had been deceived by none other than two of our heroes from the faith hall of fame in Hebrews: Abraham and Sara. There is an interesting story behind all of this from our perspective several thousand years later. God picked out a man and wife who were also children of the same man - half brother and sister as it were. So, a taint of incest, a touch of the ol' fear, and they lied to Abimelech by a withholding of the truth. Yes, they were, technically, brother and sister, but they were also husband and wife, a fact they quite failed to mention to their host. So, Abimelech grabbed up Sara for his household as a wife (Courtship was optional back in the day.) and fell into adultery in innocence and ignorance. He was greeted by a dream that we can summarize as: "Hello, dead man, I'm God."

Of course, Abimelech made the usual excuse that any of us would in that situation, "I didn't know!" And he did not, the Bible scripture agrees with him on this. Unfortunately for Abim and us, as the old saying goes, 'ignorance of the law is no excuse' , and as Paul said, 'the wages of sin is death', whether we agreed to work for sin or not. In fact, few of us can recall a job interview with sin or even an offer of wages. We were born and grew up toward our teen years, and one day someone had the gall to inform us that we too had earned the death penalty for our sin. Like Abimelech, we too might make that excuse, "I didn't know about this original sin thing? What do I do now?"

Well, God had prevented Abimelech from consummating his new sin, so he was able to restore Sara to Abraham and right the wrong, along with a little complaining to Abe about his deception. The funny thing in this is that in order for Abimelech to live - Abraham had to pray for him. Wait, what?

Yes, sometimes we too will run into a command from the Lord that seems just not quite right to us. The important thing is for us to do it anyway. Abimelech did and his household was healed. It is not for us to question who the Lord chooses as His instrument. Peter was a sinful man, Noah got drunk, Abraham deceived his host, David committed adultery and then had her husband knocked off, but God chose each of them to do great things in faith. So, sinner, what might God have for you or me to do in faith? Who will pray for us that we be saved?

God's blessings to you in this new week,


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