Then God Healed Abimelech, His Wife and His Slave Girls

So They Could Have Children Again

20: 17-18

DIG: Why was it necessary for Avraham to pray? What was the result? What was the Adversary trying to do? Why? What did He learn from this experience?

REFLECT: How is your testimony to the pagan world around you? Do you point people to Christ or have them mock Him? What pagan does God want you to pray for?

For his part, Abraham prayed to God on behalf of Abimelech (20:17a). Avraham was the one who lied; nevertheless, it took his prayer to remove the curse. The blessing and cursing aspect of the blood Covenant that God had with Abraham (see Ef – Abram Believed the LORD and He Credited It to Him as Righteousness), was still in effect despite his disobedience. That is the nature of an unconditional covenant.

Even though he was guilty, Avraham’s prayer was effective, and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave girls so they could have children again (20:17b). The rabbis teach that a plague was brought upon Abimelech’s household, which consisted of some disease that made childbearing impossible. For ADONAI had closed up every womb in Abimelech’s household because of Abraham’s wife Sarah (20:18). Earlier God had told Avraham, “I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse” (12:3). When Abimelech sent for Sarah and took her into his harem, his action could have resulted in Isaac not being born. Satan was doing everything he could possibly do to prevent the Seed of the Woman (3:15) from going to the cross. If Isaac were not born, Jacob would not be born. If Jacob were not born, Judah would not be born. And if Judah were not born, the Messiah would not be born. However, God is in control, so the curse for curse principle was visited upon Abimelech and his household to get his attention.

In Abimelech we meet with a totally different character from that of Pharaoh. We see him as a pagan with a moral conscious of right and wrong, and open to receive revelation from God, of which there was not the slightest trace in the king of Egypt.337

The final outcome of this unpleasant experience was that Abraham finally learned that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Never again would he question God; however, the same cannot be said about Abraham’s son.


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