When God Withholds You – by Assistant Pastor Justin Mears

Today’s Passage – Genesis 20 – 22 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 13 – 14Psalms 31 – 35Proverbs 7

Read the “0107 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from this passage: God Will Provide Himself a Lamb,“ and “The Whole Truth.”

“And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.” (Genesis 20:6)

Abraham told Abimelech king of Gerar that Sarah was his sister which, as we find out, is true but not quite the full truth. Abimelech has no reason not to believe him and as a result takes her for himself. Before he ever does anything with her the Lord appears harshly to him in a dream saying, “thou art but a dead man.” Eventually, they get it figured out and he gives her back to Abraham. Abraham then prays for Abimelech, specifically requesting that the women of Gerar would be able to bare children again because the Lord had closed up their wombs for Sarah’s sake.

There is a lot not right with this story and mainly it’s about how Abraham handled this situation completely wrong. He didn’t trust God. He was willing to watch another man take his wife to save his own life, and this wasn’t the first time he had done this. Another point to see in this is how awesome God is at taking our mess-ups and making them works of art. In the end Abraham was tremendously blessed by Abimelech. It is a great picture of God’s grace. 

However, my thought is not derived from either of these things but rather on King Abimelech and how we can relate with him. Have you ever tried to do something like apply for a job, buy a house, or pursue a certain dream only to be met with blockade after blockade as if the very hand of God was fighting against you? You may be pursuing something good in the integrity of your heart, just like it says about Abimelech taking Sarah. You might not be trying to do anything wrong but you can’t see it from Heaven’s perspective. It felt like God was punishing Abimelech, but rather God protected him by withholding him from sinning against God. The same goes for us, we can’t see what He see’s. He could be protecting us from some unforeseen danger.

Trust God and follow his will.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Justin, Samantha, Selah, Emerson, Westin, and Levi Belle (“the Beast”)

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