Abimelech had in an ignorant innocence of a sort taken Sarah, the wife of Abraham, into his harem and as such incurred swift judgment from God. Abraham and Sarah were each complicit in this potential disaster and threat to the godly seed. Abimelech repents as God comes to him in a dream for clarification of the danger he has placed he and his nation in since his enlistment of Sarah as a member of his Philistine entourage. Abimelech pleads ignorance and declares innocence since he has not touched Sarah, who at 90 is apparently still a gorgeous and desirable woman.
Here is the Scriptural content and then the end game with a thought toward present day application.
Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also kept you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her.
“Now therefore, restore the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”
Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maids, so that they bore children.
For the LORD had closed fast all the wombs of the household of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
When the prophets of God and the people cease to be all God has called them to be, and when the message of God is lost in transition because of fear or deception or other human frailty, the purposes of God are endangered. The judgment of God falls upon any and all in the vicinity in such cases. God “carpet bombs” on rare occasion. (Reference Egypt and God’s judgment upon the nation for Pharaoh’s sin. Also, ask yourself when you last ran into a card-carrying Philistine…)
The Lord God is a jealous God. He is not to be trifled with; His purposes will advance with or without our pursuit of His glory, but never apart from the zeal of the Lord Most High for His own name’s sake. The earth would cease if God submitted his purposes to the whims of men, yet He marvelously shares His glory and shows His lovingkindness to multitudes who do His will and heed His word as they advance His glory in humble steps of faithful repentance.
“…who works all things after the counsel of His will.”
I hope the correlation between this Biblical example and the failure of leadership in the church today and in the nation at large is clear enough. God’s purpose and God’s kingdom will advance and come; our participation is optional from eternity’s perspective. God will raise up a faithful people. He always has.
“He is not a tame Lion.”