Genesis 26:6-11 (ESV)
So Isaac settled in Gerar. When the men of the place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he feared to say, “My wife,” thinking, “lest the men of the place should kill me because of Rebekah,” because she was attractive in appearance. When he had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac laughing with Rebekah his wife. So Abimelech called Isaac and said, “Behold, she is your wife. How then could you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac said to him, “Because I thought, ‘Lest I die because of her.’” Abimelech said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.” So Abimelech warned all the people, saying, “Whoever touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”
Seriously? Do we really have to go through the “She’s my sister,” routine again? This family sure has a lot of issues.
But this time is a bit different. The truth is that this is a crazy-dangerous neighborhood.
Notice the line, “One of the people might easily have lain with your wife.” Easily? Doesn’t sex need to be consensual? Maybe Isaac’s fear that they would kill him for his wife isn’t all that far-fetched.
That speaks volumes about Isaac’s willingness to stay where God told him to stay. Even with the LORD’s specific promises, Isaac is anything but comfortable with this place.
But he does stay. Then God protects him though Abimelech. Notice that Abimelech’s declaration protects both Rebekah and Isaac. That confirms that Isaac’s fear is legit.
Gerar has all the safety and stability of a pirate ship.
One of the great things about living in America is something we take for granted – stability. Everything will still be here tomorrow – our homes, our jobs, electricity, the schools.
There are exceptions – tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes happen – but they’re extraordinary events, not the norm. We count on our civilization to preserve the things we need.
But not everyone has it so good. Some nations are so unstable that thousands of people die trying to flee. Much of the world seems overrun by evil.
So, what should we pray for? The persecuted church? Yes. For the safety of our missionaries? Of course. For God to bring an end to these horrors? Always.
But what’s the point? If God can end these nightmares in a minute, why doesn’t He?
There’s something mysterious in all this that glorifies Him, something that’s beyond our comprehension.
We need to obey His command to pray. It’s the best we can do.
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