“She’s my sister.” Technically, Abraham and Sarah were closely related–she was his father’s daughter by different wife. But Abraham’s intention was to deceive. Earlier he told the Egyptians the same lie; now he tells Abimelech, the Philistine king of Gerar. Sarah was either an unparalleled beauty or Abraham was just paranoid. She was an old woman by this time, well over 80. I suppose it may have been a combination of the two. She did seem to attract the interest of other men. But did Abraham need to lie about their relationship?
The amazing thing about this story is that Sarah cooperates with Abraham’s scheme and indulges his paranoia. I cannot imagine many women would do so! As a husband myself, I see a lesson in this story about putting my wife first. Clearly, Abraham provides a BAD example here. If he had put her first, he would have risked his own life (if indeed it was at risk) to protect her, instead of putting her at risk like this. He loved himself more than he loved his wife here.
Yet he remained God’s chosen, His child, in spite of his mistakes. God’s love continues unwavering toward Abraham and Sarah. He protects her, and even blesses Abraham in spite of it all. But we’ll never know what might have been if Abraham had been honest here.
Reading: Genesis 20