“And Abraham journeyed from there to the South, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur, and stayed in Gerar.
Now Abraham said of Sarah his wife, ‘She is my sister.’ And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, ‘Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.’
But Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, ‘Lord, will You slay a righteous nation also? Did he not say to me, “She is my sister”? And she, even she herself said, “He is my brother.” In the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this.’
And God said to him in a dream, ‘Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. Now therefore, restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.’
So Abimelech rose early in the morning, called all his servants, and told all these things in their hearing; and the men were very much afraid. And Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, ‘What have you done to us? How have I offended you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done.’ Then Abimelech said to Abraham, ‘What did you have in view, that you have done this thing?’
And Abraham said, ‘Because I thought, surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will kill me on account of my wife. But indeed she is truly my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said to her, “This is your kindness that you should do for me: in every place, wherever we go, say of me, ‘He is my brother.’”’” Genesis 20:1-13
Now what can we learn about this? Technically Abraham wasn’t lying because Sarah was his half-sister (by the way, incest is forbidden in Leviticus 18:6, but not everyone had that knowledge yet). However, if the intent of his heart was to deceive and misrepresent the truth of the relationship by omission and hide the fact that Sarah was his wife by passing off the relationship as something other than it really was, he was still not being truthful.
We could simply point the finger at Abraham, but there are less obvious ways in which we may be guilty of doing the same. As believers we may know the truth of God’s word but out of fear of being rejected, we may misrepresent the truth of God’s words and our relationship with Him by omitting details of our faith to suit sinners’ desires rather than stand up for truth and condemn wrong. Are we ever guilty of hiding our relationship with God because we are afraid of the consequences?
The Bible says, "When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you will surely die,' and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand. But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.” Ezekiel 33:8-9
Let us pray to God for courage to be honest about our relationship with God and be faithful in our witness to others by sharing truth so wrongdoers can’t say like Abimelech “What have you done to us? How have I offended you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done.” We are held responsible if we stay silent by our words or deeds regarding God’s disapproval.
Picture originally found here