“Abraham moved south to the Negev and lived for a while between Kadesh and Shur, and then he moved on to Gerar. While living there as a foreigner, 2 Abraham introduced his wife, Sarah, by saying, “She is my sister.” So King Abimelech of Gerar sent for Sarah and had her brought to him at his palace.” Genesis 20:1-2
The hymn writer, Robert Robinson penned these words, “Come, thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace, streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.” The most memorable stanza of that hymn expresses a fear that every Christian has felt at one time or another: “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love, take my heart, O take and seal it for thy courts above.” Prone to wander! This was the anxious cry of Robinson’s heart. And for a time, years after writing those words, he did wander away from the faith and from the God he loved. There are many examples of believers who wandered away from God: David, who was a man after God’s own heart, committed adultery with Bathsheba; Samson was led astray by Delilah; Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus; Demas whom Paul said, “loved this world” and deserted the ministry. Some of these men eventually returned to a right relationship with God— and some did not. Now as we come to Genesis 20, we must add one more name to our list of those who wander: Abraham. Immediately after the destruction of Sodom, God presents us with a vital lesson in the life of faith. Followers of God have mistaken proximity to God with intimacy with God. In other words, we think that if we just stay in God’s neighborhood, then we will never have to worry about wandering away from God.
In fact, the complete opposite is true: no human being on this planet ever reaches a point in this life where he is beyond the reach of temptation, sin, and spiritual error. Abraham was vulnerable. You are vulnerable. I’m vulnerable to wander, in fact, that is my default behavior. Abraham is upset over the destruction of the cities of the plains. He is troubled and traumatized over the death and destruction he has witnessed. Feeling he must go someplace to clear his thoughts and erase the images from his mind, he moves to Gerar, the seacoast city on the southwest side of Palestine, on the way to Egypt. There he comes among the people who will be known as the Philistines, the enemies of Israel from whom would come Goliath. The Philistines were moral religious people. They were secularized religious people who had an outward form of godliness but an inward rebellion toward Jehovah God. Abraham buys into the lie and is in big trouble and his wife’s honor is in jeopardy!! Lord, remind me this morning that my wandering has consequences. I repent of my wandering heart. I seek the forgiveness that only you can give to a wandering soul.