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In Case You Missed It -- Genesis 20-21, Psalm 13

Genesis 20 presents another case where Abraham, the one that “believed God and was credited with righteousness” (Genesis 15:6) shows little faith in God’s protection. In fear, Abraham lies again about Sarah being his sister, and others suffer because of this lie (Genesis 20:3-4, 20:17-18). We find that Abraham had a history of cowardice as it relates to Sarah (Genesis 20:11-13). This is hardly the robust faith we would expect from the one God is going to use to bless the nations! However, a brief transition statement after these events clarifies why God will bless the nations through Abraham and Sarah. We are told, “Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah” before Isaac is born. Grace does not wait to appear in the Bible until Jesus arrivesGod constantly relates to His people by His grace. If we take the message of Genesis seriously, we should recognize that grace is the only reason we have any good thing. Abraham and Sarah are a blessing to the nations; they get to be grace to others, but only because of grace. The Bible is not a story of great people doing great things all the time. Sure, some people walk in incredible faith, but even the heroes often mix great faith with great failure. God’s blessing through Isaac continues to prepare us for a blessing coming through Abraham which Abraham himself cannot provide. This ultimate gift will direct our attention to the “glorious grace” that God will demonstrate most powerfully in “Jesus Christ...the one God loves” (Ephesians 1:5-6).

Jeremiah Vaught