Abraham experiences déjà vu when he introduces his beautiful wife to the local king. In a situation similar to his experience in Egypt, Abraham is faced with the same decision as before.
Abraham moved south to the Negev and lived for a while between Kadesh and Shur, and then he moved on to Gerar. While living there as a foreigner, Abraham introduced his wife, Sarah, by saying, “She is my sister.” So King Abimelech of Gerar sent for Sarah and had her brought to him at his palace.
Although Abraham is one of our heroes of faith, even he repeated the same mistakes. Abraham had used this lie to protect himself before (Genesis 12:11-13). By giving in to this temptation again, he risked creating a pattern. Sin is often a rut created over time. He risked making a habit of lying whenever he suspected his life was in danger. Abraham had his own selfish priorities at heart.
No matter how much we love God, some ruts are especially difficult to resist. These are worn into our hearts with a lifetime of behavior. As we struggle with these sins, we can be encouraged to know that God is breaking up the ground of our hearts just as he did for Abraham (see Jeremiah 4:3-4). But this can be painful. It certainly was for Abraham.
God later tested Abraham when he asked him to sacrifice Isaac. God did not want to watch Abraham fail. He wanted to deepen Abraham’s capacity to obey and thus to develop his character. God wanted to rearrange Abraham’s priorities.
What situation is requiring you to have faith right now? When we are tested, we can complain about the pain, or we can rejoice that God is at work in our hearts. Are you willing to believe that God is at work?