No Fear of God At All
Genesis 20:11 (ESV) – Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, ‘There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’”
The people of the Bible were far from perfect. Jesus is the only exception. Abraham, David, Moses, and the people we read about made mistakes, sinned against God, and made foolish choices. This is what life is like after Adam’s fall in the Garden. We see godly people do dumb stuff. Abraham had an example of this in the passage we are looking at today. As Abraham and Sarah traveled through foreign land, Abraham told the king (Abimelech) in one of the lands that Sarah was his sister, not his wife.
Why did he do this? Because he was afraid that the king would want to kill him and take Sarah for himself. So instead of telling the truth, he tried to deceive the king and say she was his sister. That made Abraham no threat.
We read in Genesis 20:11, “Abraham said, ‘I did it because I thought, “There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.”’” The key emphasis for our purposes today is why Abraham thought the king would kill him. It’s not just because he would be a threat as the husband instead of the brother. It’s that there was no fear of God in the people or land. They didn’t fear God; therefore, they were bound to do anything. The laws and ethics under the fear of God were absent. This is a massive deal.
We live in a world today where the fear of God is often absent. Without fear of God, it leads people to sinful actions that would otherwise be unthinkable. When men and women have no fear of God in their hearts, they act with recklessness and foolishness. It throws off all restraints when there is no fear of God in people’s hearts, no accountability that they stand under the gaze and judgment of a Holy God. This is why we had atrocities like the Holocaust in Germany, slaughter in Russia and China during the twentieth century. Without fear of God, man is hopelessly wicked.
Fear of God even helps our own hearts. When we are tempted to sin, we must remember that we stand accountable to the Almighty. He sees and knows all things. We should live to please Him and fear displeasing Him.
Confess your sins today. Repent and turn away from things that dishonor Him.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why does Abraham believe the foreign king will kill him?
- What are examples of things that can happen when men do not fear God?
- How does fear of God help us to personally live holy?
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