Genesis 20:1-18

Really? Again with half-truths. There is this assumption when I read about Bible “greats” that they are – or should be – great. Model citizens. People I can emulate.

Abraham walked with God (perhaps literally). He had audible conversations with God. Yet, he continued to experience so much fear that he was compelled to repeatedly manipulate the truth, to protect himself.

Here’s what I love. God had his back anyway. Perhaps because he was called to be the father of nations and the father of Christ’s lineage. Or perhaps because God knew his heart. Either way, God was looking out for him. In spite of – and probably because of – human weakness.

Abimelech also receives grace from God because he had acted toward Sarah with a clear conscience. Can’t you just hear him? “Seriously, I had no idea!” And I love God’s response:

“Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her.” (vs.6)

Two things. First, our motives – what’s deep in our heart – matters so much more than our mistakes. Second, God is working on our behalf, even when we are completely unaware.

There is such great comfort in this. God judges the heart. When I live life with a clear conscience – honestly desiring to do the right thing – God works on my behalf. So powerful.

God, may my heart be pure. Whatever my human fear and struggle, may my conscience be clear and my mind be set on you. Thank you for the comfort of knowing that – as I draw near to you – you work behind the scenes on my behalf. And you have my back.