Questions to Consider
1. Second verse, same as the first. Compare Genesis 12:10-20 with today’s passage. List the similarities and differences between the two incidents. Why would Abraham do this again? Why was Sarah complicit?
2. What did Abraham tell Abimelech about Sarah? (2) Why? (11) Was it true that Sarah was his sister? (12) What can we learn from this story about honesty, deception, and half truths? How did Abraham’s deception put Sarah in danger? In what way did Abraham put his own needs ahead of Sarah’s well-being? How might Abraham’s actions have damaged his relationship with his wife?
3. In what ways did Abraham’s actions demonstrate a lack of trust in God? Think back over the promises God has made to Abraham. As of Genesis 20, have any of these promises been fulfilled? Yet what is Abraham fearful of in verse 11? If God is powerful enough to open the womb of a barren woman and make a couple of senior citizens parents, is He not powerful enough to keep them safe and alive until that promise is fulfilled?
4. In what ways did Sarah have to trust God and trust her husband in this passage? Was Abraham acting in a trustworthy way? Why or why not?
5. The New Testament tells us we are ambassadors for Christ. In a similar way, Sarah and Abraham represented the one true God to Abimelech and his people. Did Sarah and Abraham represent God well? Why or why not? What did their words and actions tell Abimelech about God’s trustworthiness and His power to protect His people? How did God step in and defend His reputation to Abimelech? (3-7,17-18) What did God reveal to Abimelech – and to Sarah and Abraham – about Himself by His words and actions?
6. Examine 1 Peter 3:1-7. What do verses 5-6 tell us about Sarah’s character that might help explain why she twice went along with deceiving a king about her relationship with Abraham? Does God require Christian women to submit to our husbands if they ask us to sin? Is our highest loyalty to God or to our husbands? Is our highest obedience to God or to our husbands? Compare Abraham’s actions to verse 7. How does he measure up?
7. What word(s) would you use to describe the way Abimelech treated Sarah in verse 16? Would you use that same word(s) to characterize the way Abraham treated Sarah in Genesis 20? Why or why not?
8. What consequence had God placed on Abimelech’s household as a result of his taking Sarah? (17-18) Why do you think God chose this particular sign instead of something like boils or famine?
9. In lesson 12, we saw Hagar say of the Lord, “You are a God who sees me,” and that her son would be named Ishmael, meaning, “God hears.” At the conclusion of chapter 20, what are some ways Sarah might have finished the sentence, “You are a God who…”?
Have you ever been through a difficult or scary situation like Sarah went through that required a lot of trust in God? Now that He has brought you through it, as you look back, what are some ways you might finish the sentence, “You are a God who…”?
Suggested Memory Verse
Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her.