I was listening to Pastor Joseph Prince talk about Abraham and how he sort of lied to Abimelech the king about his wife Sarah. The story is in Genesis Chapter 20. Abraham was afraid the men of the land would kill him to get his wife, so he told the king that Sarah was his sister (she was a half sister, so it was not entirely a lie, but he left out the wife part). The next thing we see is God appearing to King Abimelech in a dream saying “You are a dead man for taking Abraham’s wife.” The king did not know Sarah was Abraham’s wife, so it’s hard to fault him for the situation. But God gets on his case. We wait to see if he says anything to Abraham, but we never see it. I’ve always wondered about that situation. Pastor Prince said he thought God was getting onto the wrong guy. I tend to agree!
So why didn’t God chastise Abraham about his deception? Could it be God was not aware of it? I doubt it, if one believes God knows everything. It seems to me that God was OVERLOOKING Abraham’s part in the whole thing. Why would he do that? Because “Abraham’s faith was accounted to him as righteousness.” Galatians 3:6 In God’s eyes, Abraham was righteous because of his faith in God. He had favor with God and a covenant just by having faith. Abimelech did not.
If we believe that God has accounts on everyone and is keeping score, let’s look at it this way…before Abraham had faith, his sins were mounting up higher and higher in his account. Then one day, he came to faith in God, and believed that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him, as the New Testament says in Hebrews 11:6. All of a sudden, Abraham’s sins are wiped out. There is nothing in the account, EXCEPT now God puts a positive in the place of the sin. It’s called RIGHTEOUSNESS, right standing with God. Once we come to FAITH, and in the new testament, we call it salvation (whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, Romans 10:13), God puts our sins away “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12) and remembers them no more.
That’s why, as we look at the life of King David, who actually committed adultery and murder, and even after the prophet corrects him, he is still called a man after God’s own heart. God still likes him even though he did those things. (David still suffered consequences, but did not lose God’s love.)
The same way that Jesus, who knew no sin was MADE to be sin (2 Cor. 5:21), we were MADE the righteousness of God in Christ. It was an exchange. He became sin and we became righteous. He lowered Himself for the human race. We were elevated back to the original position that Adam had before he sinned. It’s as simple as that. This is how deep is the love, grace and mercy of our God.