28. Be God's witness

Abraham lied and told King Abimelech that Sarah was his sister. King Abimelech then took Sarah to his palace to be with him. But before he could sleep with her, God intervened and told Abimelech in a dream that she was in fact Abraham's wife. God told Abimelech to return her to Abraham, and to let Abraham pray for him and his household, for God told him that Abraham was a prophet. Early the next morning Abimelech obeyed and immediately summoned Abraham and returned Sarah to him. And not only that, he also did the following:

"Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen and servants - both men and women - and gave them to Abraham, and he returned his wife, Sarah, to him. "Look over my kingdom, and choose a place where you would like to live," Abimelech told him. Then he returned to Sarah. "Look," he said. "I am giving your 'brother' a thousand pieces of silver to compensate for any embarrassment I may have caused you. This will settle any claim against me in this matter." Genesis 20:14-16

I was amazed at Abimelech's reaction. God told him to return Sarah to Abraham, but he went even further and blessed Abraham with livestock, silver, servants and even gave them first choice in choosing a place to live. Abimelech met the living God and he turned into a generous ruler. He was confronted with Deity and gifts started to flow. We as Christians can learn from him and be as generous as he was. We have so much to offer as we have the Holy God living inside of us.

Then Abraham prayed for Abimelech, just as God instructed:

"Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and the other women in the household, so they could have children. For the Lord had stricken all the women with infertility as a warning to Abimelech for having taken Abraham's wife." Genesis 20:17, 18

I don't know about you, but I would have felt so stupid if I were Abraham. Here I was, a prophet of the living God, supposedly a representative of God and yet I lied to save myself. And then it turns out that the person I lied to is actually very nice and is now showering me with gifts and giving me the best choice of land. I would have felt like a failure in my witness to God. I would have felt as if I let God down. I don't even know if I would have had the courage to pray to God for Abimelech's healing. I would have felt like a hypocrite. We don't know if Abraham felt that way, but Abraham stepped forward and prayed for Abimelech and his household and God Who is faithful, heard Abraham's prayer and healed them.

Today we might feel like failures in our witness to God as well. We might swear at someone in frustration and later see them in the same church we attend. We might get irritated on the road and show all sorts of signs, and forget that we have an 'I love Jesus' sticker on our bumper. We might gossip about someone, and later when person finds out what we said, we might be so embarrassed that we never talk about the Lord to that person ever again. People might know that we are a professing Christian and then we suggest to them at some stage to cheat on their tax returns, because we don't get anything in return from the Government anyway. And so I can go on. We all fail some time and when we fail in our daily walk, the devil comes and reminds us of it and tells us that we cannot be a witness for Jesus anymore. He comes and tells us that our witness is tarred and that God cannot use us to further His kingdom anymore. On such days remember Abraham. Remember how he failed too and yet he stood up, prayed for Abimelech and continued as one of the greatest men of faith. In Hebrews 11 where he is mentioned as one of the great heroes of faith, only his successes are mentioned and not his failures. Why? Because he didn't dwell in them, but continued in his journey as a great man of God. He continued to believe in God and loved Him and that was his success.

Jesus died for all our sins and all our mistakes. The time has come to leave them behind and to look forward to all His promises that lies ahead. We need to shake off the past and walk anew as a witness of our glorious Saviour. Do not allow the devil to keep you down, but stand up for all that you are in Jesus. You are a powerful witness, start living as one.

Father, thank you so much that we can know that all our sins are forgiven by Jesus and that we can walk in Your loving ways. We want to be a powerful witness for You, please give us the courage to continue, even if we have failed. Thank you that we can know that Jesus took all our failures upon Himself, so that we can be free from them and be His hands and feet on this earth. In Jesus Name. Amen

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