7 Things God hates:
Proverbs 6:16-19 (NIV)
16 There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Read Genesis Chapter 12:1-20 and chapter 20
Genesis 12 and 20 tell us that Abraham was a liar. Lying is listed as one of the things that God hates, so why did God choose him? Oh, well, you might say, “he hadn’t lied yet when God chose him!” or “it was only a little white lie, after all Sarah is his half sister in truth.” (After you get done thinking..ooh, yuck…he married his sister – just remember in Biblical days a half sister was okay for marriage probably because a person’s genetic code was still close to perfect, with no mutations!) So, now, back to the problem at hand….why did God choose someone like Abraham? (Oh and yes, I know that Proverbs were written after Genesis happened…still it is a statement of God’s character which is true and God does not change, so even in Abraham’s time God hated the same things, just as he hates lying still today!)
So we are back to, Why? Why? Why would God choose someone like Abraham? To answer this question we have to back up the story a bit….
Abraham was just a normal guy, living his life in his homeland, and raising his dead brother’s son, Lot, as his inheritor because he and his wife, Sarah, had no children of their own. One day, God comes to him and says, “Hey, Abram, I want you to pack up your family and go to this land far away and I will give it to you. Also I will make you a great nation!” What does Abraham do in the face of this request from God? He simply just goes and does exactly what God tells him he wants him to do….he packs up and goes off to this strange land, that he has never been to before, and doesn’t really even know how to get there, or what is waiting for him there! He just goes, anyway! He takes that step of faith when God asks him to do so.
At some point Abraham and Sarah are entering a land that Abraham thinks is a land that does not respect God, so he gives off his famous little white lie. Not only that, he gets Sarah to lie right along with him. So in Abraham’s mind, if the land is ungodly, then the people might kill him and take his wife because she is beautiful. Abraham was more concerned about their survival than about the “sinfulness” of lying…and as I pointed out…the idea of exactly what sin was in God’s eyes had not been defined yet for Abraham…the law had not yet been formally given. So for Abraham, this lie was a survival strategy. He and Sarah are in a new land, an unknown land, where they are landless, and think that they are powerless. Abraham doesn’t understand God’s power.
I think about the statement that Sarah is beautiful and then look at the age given for her at this time, and boy am I impressed! She was 65 years old and yet, Abraham was still worried that she was so beautiful to look upon that someone might kill him to get her. Isn’t that incredible, especially in light of the fact that there were no face lifts back then! Yes, I know that the desert preserves things, but people don’t hold up as well in the desert as scrolls do! Usually people get all dried out and ugly looking because the climate is so harsh! It is hard to picture this, isn’t it?!!! Sarah’s continued beauty is probably also because of the lack of mutations in her genetics. Genetically she was still close to the created perfection of Adam and Eve.
However, that is the truth told to us in the Bible…Abraham was scared…he felt that in a godless land God couldn’t or wouldn’t protect him….he was able to step forward in faith in a huge way, but then stumbled on his fears!
Abraham did not really understand God at all, did he?!! Abraham apparently viewed God as someone to listen to, and that God was promising him something…but he seemed to think that man could interfere with God’s plan for him. So…he lied!
Did God abandon Abraham because he lied? No, God took the situation in hand, and made sure that Abraham’s wife was protected, and that Abraham came away from the situation better off than when he started out. Despite the fact that Abraham lied to protect his own skin…he was even willing to give up his wife to protect his own skin!
So in the end, God arranged things that Abraham got Sarah back, and continued his journey with God. Abraham learned something about God…he learned that God would be there for him, even when he did the wrong thing, and even when he was scared. He learned that God was more powerful than any man that Abraham would meet. God could take a situation that seems out of control, and not only fix it and get it back on the right track, (which through Abraham’s free will it had gotten sidetracked) but God could also make that situation better than ever.
Why would God do this? God is a God of promises, he is faithful to keep his promises, and more importantly for us to know: God knew who Abraham was, inside and out…as it says in Genesis 18:19 (KJV):
1 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
God chose Abraham because he “knows him” not just the outer person, but the inner person. God knew that Abraham was descended from Shem the first of Noah’s son’s. That is where we get the term “Semite” as a term synonymous with “Jew”. Shem was one of the sons who covered his father’s nakedness. (Genesis 9:25-27) God knew that Abraham was “begotten” in the lineage of Noah…the term “begotten” means to be the same as, or sharing all the characteristics of the father you came from. It is not just a term about who sired you. It has much more meaning that just who your Dad was…it is a meaning that says, “they are me…they are all the things that I am” whenever, this term is used it is saying in our modern day terms, “they are a chip off the old block!” God knew that Abraham was just like his father, who was just like his father, who was just like his father, and so on back to Shem who was just like his father, Noah. God knew Abraham’s lineage, and he knew that Abraham would not only follow God, but he would teach his children to follow God.
God just needed to teach Abraham, who he (God) really was. Abraham is the beginning of the story for all of us really. He is the one who God chose to reveal himself to. He is the one who God decided to use to show us all of his character and all of his plan for the salvation of man. It all started with this simple man…who stepped out in faith, but then stumbled with a lie.
The point here is that although God despises lies, he is still able to use and develop someone who is faulty and sinful and lies. Abraham doesn’t continue to lie…he turns from his lying ways, and learns to draw ever closer to God…he keeps stepping out in faith continually…to the point that the Bible calls Abraham who did something that God despises, “a righteous man.”