The Presence of the Lord...even in this place

Imagine my impatience and irritability with Abraham this morning as I read that he had once again caused an international scuffle by presenting Sarah to a king as his sister and not his wife. Will he ever learn? Must he keep committing the same ridiculous errors?

His repetitive mistakes remind me of the University of Arizona kicker, Alex Zendejas, who disappointed U of A fans week after week with wide kicks that clearly missed the narrow margins of the field goal. Or the goofy teenager Sue on my favorite (read only) TV sitcom "The Middle" and her weekly wearing of her Cross Country hoodie. Or my dog's incessant whining every morning as I let him out of his crate and into the back yard. Won't they ever learn?

Of course, it also reminds me of my own tendency to leave the vanilla out of every cake I bake, my daily habit of bumping into my bed's foot board, and more serious repetitive sins that I won't give you the details on.

Truth is, we all have a way of repeating our errors while others shake their heads at us and wonder why.

But here's the part of today's story in Genesis 20:1-18 that jumped out at me today.

I discovered why Abraham repeated his error. You'll find it too in Genesis 20:11:

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."

Did you catch why Abraham made an unwise decision, why he acted deceptively as he did, why he lied, why he behaved foolishly, why he caused his wife to sin, why he almost created a huge problem?

Because he acted out of fear. Specifically he feared that because this king and his people didn't fear God then the "fear of God was not in this place" and so God couldn't take care of things.

Guess what? I've done that very same thing. I've assumed, mistakenly, that God can only work where God is revered and prayed to and honored and known. 

But God was not limited by Abimelech's ignorance of Him. In fact, God spoke very clearly to this godless man in a dream and the godless man hopped up early the next morning and acting accordingly. Abimelech, in fact, acted with more full on obedience than Abraham did. 

What does this mean for you and me?

It means that we often blow it when we are acting in fear, specifically the fear that God can't possibly "handle this one." Why would we assume such a crazy thing? for the same reason Abraham did. We assume God can only work where He is visibly in charge and honored.

Fact is, my God can work anywhere He pleases. And He does so, every day, every minute. God is not constrained by my lack of faith, someone else's lack of knowledge, or even someone's disdain toward Him. He is not bound by any human emotion or attitude. He is God, God Almighty.

So enough repeats already. I don't think we'll find Abraham trying to pass Sarah off as his sister again. So let's you and I learn our lesson from Abraham's mistake too. Let's not let fear cause us to behave in an ungodly fashion, to doubt God's ability to handle the little hiccups in our lives. Let's take the "risk" of trusting God even where He is not honored and feared. He can handle it. I'm sure of it.