Thursday, October 16, 2008

Genesis 21:22-24 How's Your Swearing?

Genesis 21:22-24: Now it came about at that time that Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, spoke to Abraham, saying, "God is with you in all that you do; now therefore, swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me or with my offspring or with my posterity, but according to the kindness that I have shown to you, you shall show to me and to the land in which you have sojourned." Abraham said, "I swear it."

We leave Ishmael for now and turn our attention back to Abraham. You will remember King Abimelech that we had met back in chapter 20. Abraham had deceived him regarding who Sarah was and the King took steps to take Sarah for himself but God had intervened. To make amends, Abimelech gave Abraham gifts and allowed him to stay in his land.

Now the King along with Phicol, the commander of his army, has a little meeting with Abraham. The Bible does not say whether they visited Abraham or called for him to go to them. I would imagine that the king went to visit Abraham as Phicol escorted him, but that is only conjecture on my part. They first tell Abraham that they know God is with him in all that he does. What an acknowledgement and recognition that was for the way Abraham lived his life. Perhaps it was more because of the clear evidence of God’s presence in Abraham’s life. Whatever it was, it had made an impression on Abimelech.

Since God was with Abraham, then Abimelech knew that if Abraham promised, he would not deal falsely with him or those in his family that came after him. The king knew Abraham would treat him kindly because of the kindness he had exhibited towards him in the past in the matter involving Sarah. And he was right for Abraham swore that it would be so. What an honor it would be for any of us to be so thought of. To have people actually recognize that God was with us and that when we swore we would do something, it would be done as promised. What would that mean to our children to whom we make promises, to our co-workers, our employers, to those in our church, and so on. Two days ago Canada had another national election and this morning politicians started the breaking of their campaign promises, be it to do something or to cooperate with other parties. There is very little honor and true integrity left in that arena and unfortunately, the public does not really demand it. But God does and He honors it.

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