And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me…
This passage in Genesis 20 gives valuable insight into the way that God protects us from sin in our lives. Abraham had a stunningly beautiful woman in Sarah, his wife. In fact, Sarah, his half-sister, was so beautiful that Abraham feared he would be killed so others could have Sarah; he begged her to say as they travelled that she was his sister. As they came into Gerar, heads turned and word soon got back to King Abimelech that this dazzling woman was only the sister of the man with whom she had travelled. Being the king, he had first choice, so he decided that he wanted her to be his wife. However, God came to Abimelech in a dream and told him the real story about Abraham and Sarah. God told him that if he touched this woman, he would be as a dead man. Of course that got Abimelech’s attention; this was a man who feared God and who was a man of integrity. When Abimelech proclaimed his ignorance to the situation, God acknowledged that He had actually kept Abimelech from sinning against Him because he knew the heart of this righteous king. The interesting part is that it was God Himself, because he knew the heart of Abimelech was right before Him, that turned him away from committing what would have been a sin before Him. This is a profoundly helpful statement to us. That means that if we beg God to protect us from sin, then He will literally withhold us from sinning.
In their hearts, most people don’t want to sin. So many do sin, though, because they have not prepared themselves not to. We must beg God every day to keep us from the influences of the devil and the world. If we are serious about not sinning, then God can see the integrity of our hearts, and He can turn us away from a sin that we might have otherwise committed. Too many people are enamored by a temptation to want to turn away from it, and that often leads to people looking for ways to get into sin. It must be our highest priority to see a temptation coming and move away from it. A step away from God is a step toward the sin and the devil. A step toward the devil is a step away from that protection from sin that we could enjoy if we were closer to God. Determine to stay away from temptation and sin, and then implore God each day to help protect you from the wiles of the devil. He will be there to help you.
Quote of the day: “Call on God, but row away from the rocks.”