Journey to Gerar

Scripture Passage: 
Genesis 20:1-18; Genesis 21:1-34

INTRODUCTION:  Abraham is maturing in his life.  These two chapters deal with things in his life that are coming to some kind of completion.  His life is bearing the fruit he has planted - for good or bad.

  1. A SECRET SIN DISCOVERED (Genesis 20:1-18)
    1. Abraham Lies Again (Genesis 20:1-2; Genesis 12:10-13).
      1. Abraham journeyed to the south (Genesis 20:1).
        1. Abraham journeyed from the plains of Mamre (Genesis 18:1) which is in Hebron (Genesis 13:18).
        2. Abraham dwelt between Kadesh and Shur and soujourned in Gerar.
      2. Abraham’s lie (Genesis 20:2)
        1. Abraham says Sarah is his sister.
          1. This is not the first time that we know Abraham lied about Sarah (Genesis 12:11-13).
          2. They told this lie everywhere they went (Genesis 20:13).
          3. This lie had an element of truth to it (Genesis 20:12).
          4. Abraham’s lie was repeated by Isaac (Genesis 26:6-7).
            1. Both told this lie in Gerar (Genesis 20:1-2; Genesis 26:6-7).
            2. Both were found out by Abimelech (Genesis 20:3; Genesis 26:8-9).
            3. Both lied because of a lack of faith.
        2. The king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.
    2. God Covers for Abraham (Genesis 20:3-7).
      1. Abimelech’s dream (Genesis 20:3)
        1. God came to Abimelech in a dream by night.
        2. God told Abimelech that he was but a dead man for taking Sarah.
      2. Abimelech’s response (Genesis 20:4-5)
        1. Abimelech had not come near to her (Genesis 20:4).
        2. Abimelech’s knowledge of God’s righteous judgment (Genesis 20:4)
        3. Abimelech’s innocence versus Abraham and Sarah’s guilt (Genesis 20:5)
      3. Abimelech’s next dream (Genesis 20:6-7)
        1. God protected Abimelech because of the integrity of his heart (Genesis 20:6).
        2. God’s requirement of the restoration of Sarah (Genesis 20:7)
          1. Abimelech was to restore Sarah to Abraham.
          2. Abraham was a prophet and would pray for Abimelech that he might live.
          3. If Abimelech did not restore Sarah, then he and all his family would die.
    3. Abraham Is Confronted with His Sin (Genesis 20:8-13; Psalm 90:8).
      1. Abimelech informed his servants of the dream (Genesis 20:8).
      2. Abimelech questioned Abraham concerning the lie (Genesis 20:9-10).
      3. The motive behind Abraham’s lie (Genesis 20:11)
      4. The element of truth in Abraham’s lie (Genesis 20:12)
      5. The agreement between Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 20:13)
    4. Abraham Is Sent Away (Genesis 20:14-18).
      1. Abimelech gave gifts to Abraham (Genesis 20:14-15).
      2. Abimelech reproved Sarah (Genesis 20:16).
      3. Abraham prayed for Abimelech (Genesis 20:17-18).
        1. God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his maidservants so that they could bare children (Genesis 20:17).
        2. The Lord had closed all of the wombs of the house of Abimelech (Genesis 20:18).
    5. The Danger of Secret Sins (Psalm 19:12-13; Joshua 7:1, 20-26)
  2. THE FULFILMENT OF GOD’S PROMISE (Genesis 21:1-8)
    1. Sarah Bares a Son (Genesis 21:1-2).
      1. According to God’s promise (Genesis 21:1)
      2. According to God’s time (Genesis 21:2)
    2. The Faithfulness Surrounding Isaac (Genesis 21:3-5)
      1. Abraham was faithful in naming his son (Genesis 21:3; Genesis 17:19).
      2. Abraham was faithful in circumcising his son (Genesis 21:4; Genesis 17:12).
      3. God was faithful to fulfill His promise (Genesis 21:5; Genesis 17:17, 21).
    3. Rejoicing in the Blessing of a Son (Genesis 21:6-8)
      1. Isaac’s name connected to laughter (Genesis 21:6; Genesis 17:17; Genesis 18:12)
      2. Sarah’s joy in bearing a child for Abraham (Genesis 21:7)
      3. A feast was provided for Isaac on the day he was weaned (Genesis 21:8).
    4. God Always Fulfills His Promises (Genesis 18:9-14; Romans 4:16-22)
  3. FINAL SEPARATIONS ARE MADE (Genesis 21:9-21)
    1. Ishmael Mocks Isaac (Genesis 21:9-11; cp. Genesis 16:4).
      1. Sarah witnessed Ishmael mocking (Genesis 21:9).
      2. Sarah requested that Abraham send away Hagar and Ishmael (Genesis 21:10).
      3. Abraham was grieved because of Sarah’s words (Genesis 21:11).
    2. Abraham Is Told to Listen to Sarah (Genesis 21:12-13; cp. Genesis 16:1-2).
      1. Abraham’s seed to be in Isaac (Genesis 21:12)
      2. God’s promise concerning Ishmael (Genesis 21:13)
    3. Hagar and Ishmael are Sent Away (Genesis 21:14-16).
      1. Hagar and Ishmael sent out with bread and water (Genesis 21:14)
      2. Hagar and Ishmael wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba (Genesis 21:14).
      3. The water was spent and Ishmael was cast under a shrub (Genesis 21:15).
      4. Hagar went a good way off so as to not see the death of her son (Genesis 21:16).
      5. Hagar lifted up her voice and wept (Genesis 21:16).
    4. God Delivers Hagar and Ishmael (Genesis 21:17-21).
      1. God heard the voice of the lad (Genesis 21:17).
        1. The scripture says that Hagar lifted up her voice and wept (Genesis 21:16).
        2. Yet the Lord says that He heard the voice of the lad (Genesis 21:17).
        3. Ishmael is either 13 or 14 years of age at this time (Genesis 17:25).
      2. The angel of God speaks to Hagar out of heaven (Genesis 21:17).
      3. The promise of God concerning the life of Ishmael (Genesis 21:18)
      4. God’s provision of water for Ishmael and Hagar (Genesis 21:19)
      5. The life of Ishmael (Genesis 21:20-21)
        1. God was with him (Genesis 21:20).
        2. He dwelt in the wilderness of Paran (Genesis 21:20-21).
        3. He became an archer (Genesis 21:20).
        4. His mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt (Genesis 21:21).
    5. Separations Sometimes Must Be Made (Genesis 12:1; Genesis 13:7-9; Romans 12:18).
  4. TWO OPPONENTS COME TO TERMS (Genesis 21:22-34)
    1. Abimelech Seeks a Covenant (Genesis 21:22-24).
      1. Abimelech approached Abraham concerning an agreement (Genesis 21:22).
      2. Abimelech asked Abraham that he would not deal with him falsely (Genesis 21:23).
      3. Abraham agreed (Genesis 21:24).
    2. Abraham Reproves Abimelech (Genesis 21:25-26).
      1. Abraham reproved Abimelech over a well of water (Genesis 21:25).
      2. Abimelech’s servants had violently taken away a well (Genesis 21:25).
      3. Abimelech had no knowledge of this event until now (Genesis 21:26).
      4. Sometimes, we need to air our differences (Proverbs 27:5-6).
    3. They Make a Covenant at Beersheba (Genesis 21:27-32).
      1. Abraham gave sheep and oxen to Abimelech and both of them made a covenant (Genesis 21:27).
      2. The seven ewe lambs (Genesis 21:28-30)
        1. Set out by themselves (Genesis 21:28)
        2. The confusion of Abimelech (Genesis 21:29)
        3. The testimony of the seven ewe lambs (Genesis 21:30)
      3. The naming of the place Beersheba - Beersheba means the well of the oath (Genesis 21:31).
      4. Abimelech and Phichol return to the land of the Philistines (Genesis 21:32).
    4. Abraham Plants a Grove and Calls on the Lord (Genesis 21:33-34).
      1. Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba (Genesis 21:33).
      2. Abraham called there on the name of the Lord (Genesis 21:33).
      3. The name everlasting God (Genesis 21:33; Isaiah 40:28; Romans 16:26)
      4. Abraham sojourned in the Philistines’ land many days (Genesis 21:34).

CONCLUSION:  What are the loose ends in your life that need to be tied up?  These can be things that will one day destroy or seriously hurt you.  They may be conflicts that have been going on for a long time.  Do you need to separate and take different paths, or do you need to come to terms and make some sort of agreement?  Perhaps there is an area where you have relied on the promises of God, but nothing has happened yet.  You need to renew your confidence in God and rest on His promises.  Life bears fruit (Galatians 6:7-9).  What are you sowing?

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 31:25

Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.