Genesis 20.1-18

Title: Old Habits Die Hard

Text: Gen 20.1-18


             Does it still amaze you that Abraham is failing to learn from his past mistakes? Does it amaze you that humans in general fail to learn from their past mistakes? Do you amaze yourself sometimes, that you fail to learn from your past mistakes? It does me!

            What is more Amazing to me, is that Abraham had been so bold as to chase after the 5 kings to save Lot. He didn’t appear to be afraid there! And what about when he stood before God and kept challenging God to spare the righteous in Sodom? That’s pretty bold, too!

Transition: And yet, that is what we find here: Abraham appears to be afraid for his life (11); So, what does Abraham do with the promises of God? He sets them aside and focuses upon his fear of death. Furthermore, he reverts back to some bad practices:

I’ve divided this passage into 4 parts that cause us to revert back to our old habits:

  • Old habits die hard when you find yourself in familiar situations
  • Old habits die hard when you rely on your plan and not on God’s plan
  • Old habits die hard when you assume others don’t fear God and are not willing to follow his direction.
  • Old habits die hard when you forget that God is still in control!

Let’s begin w/

Old Habits Die Hard

I.          When you find yourself in familiar situations (20.1-2)

exp.: rd v 1; he’s traveling in familiar territory; 12.9, 13.1; rd v 2; Sound familiar? 12.13-20; in 26, Isaac will do the same thing as his father!

Transition:  God is going to intervene. Old habits die hard when you find yourself in familiar territory and…

II.      When you rely on your plan and not God’s plan (20.3-7)

exp.: read v 3; God has to intervene, because Abraham has hatched a plan that is outside of God’s plan!

  1. His actions have effected; rd v 3

         i.     Abimelech

        ii.     Sarah


  1. Abimelech appeals to God’s mercy: rd v 4-5

       i.     Integrity of my heart  

      ii.     Innocence of my hands

     iii.     Psalm 24.4; 58.2; 78.72; James 4.8

     iv.     What a great way to live when you’re not sure of God’s will for your life: Integrity & Innocence; internal and external;

    2.  God’s Intervention (v. 6-7)

       i.     He knows the thoughts and intents of the heart; Hebrews 4.12

      ii.     He gives specific instructions to make things right;

  1. Return his wife
  2. He will pray for you and you shall live
  3. Consequences for disobedience:
    1. Death for you
    2. Death for your family

III.    When you assume others are not following or listening to God (20.8-13)

exp.: rd v 8;

  1. He and his men do fear God
  2. It leads to a confrontation w/ Abraham! Rd v 9-10;
  3. Abraham’s excuse!
  • I thought…rd v 11; He assumed there was no fear of God here;
  • Besides…rd v 12; it’s half true! What is a half-truth? A whole lie.
  • So I devised a plan; rd v 13;

IV.    When you forget that God is still in control (20.14-18)

exp.: God shows his sovereignty over this situation throughout; however, it appears that God is at work especially in protecting Abraham; rd v 14;

  1. He is given sheep, oxen, servants, and his wife back.
  2. He is given freedom to roam the land (15)
  3. He is given monetary compensation as proof that his wife was not violated (16);
  4. Abraham prays for Abimelech and his family and they are healed (17-18)

Observations & Implications:

  1. As we journey through familiar territory in life, we must be careful not to fall back on old habits!
  2. As we encounter others, we should never assume their spiritual status.
  3. It’s always good to realize that God is in control! 

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