I am tired. Really, really exhausted. I have hypothyroidism which gives me TERRIBLE insomnia. Or maybe it's the 50 mcg of Levothyroxin that's giving me insomnia. The listed possible side effects for Levothyroxin are (I've emboldened the ones that I'm experiencing): Anxiety (no worries there, I take Effexor for that one . . .), diarrhea, flushing, mood swings, muscle weakness, partial, temporary hair loss, sleeplessness, stomach cramps, tiredness, vomiting. Uncommon side effects: dizziness, vertigo, seizures, and coma. So with hypothyroid medicine, anxiety medicine, Crazy-high dose of Vitamin D, and Yaz birth control, I believe that I have met my limit of ingested "helpers." Justin and I constantly joke that I must have been manufactured in some orphan, child-labor factory in an obscure Island in Malaysia since no single part of my body seems to function properly without lots and lots of medicinal encouragement. Especially the brain part.
I have to take these four pills every day or else suffer from severe, nausea, vertigo, shakes, detachment, and anxiety that sweeps in around 3pm from neurological "withdrawal." And, as always, I forgot to take my medicine today. So here I am, feeling the tell-tale minute tremors, the whirling in my head, the dizziness, and thinking 'Im pathetic.'
6. Promises renewed (15:1-21) 7. Birth of Ishmael (16:1-16) 8. Covenant of circumcision (17:1-27) 9. Fate of Sodom and Gomorrah (18:1-19:38) 10. Abram and Abimelech (20:1-18) 11. Birth of Isaac (21:1-7) 12. Dismissal of Hagar and Ishmael (21:8-21) 13. Covenant with Abimelech (21:22-34) 14. Near sacrifice of Isaac (22:1-24) 15. Death of Sarah (23:1-20) 16. Securing a wife for Isaac (24:1-67) 17. Abraham's other sons (25:1-6) 18. Death of Abraham (25:7-11) 19. Descendants of Ishmael (25:12-18)
The most striking thing about these chapters is the intimate relationship between God and Abraham. God is always blessing and protecting Abraham. Even when Abraham wanders God shows him mercy and love.
20:1 From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb and lived between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar. 2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. 3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man's wife.” 4 Now Abimelech had not approached her. So he said, “Lord, will you kill an innocent people? 5 Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” 6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. 7 Now then, return the man's wife, for he is a prophet, so that he will pray for you, and you shall live. But if you do not return her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”
8 So Abimelech rose early in the morning and called all his servants and told them all these things. And the men were very much afraid. 9 Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? And how have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me things that ought not to be done.” 10 And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you see, that you did this thing?” 11 Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife. 12 Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. 13 And when God caused me to wander from my father's house, I said to her, ‘This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, He is my brother.’”
I can't imagine this scene! God saying, "Touch Jenny Smith and you're dead, because I'm in covenant with Justin." It's truly mind blowing.
A little earlier, Abraham talks down God's punishment on Sodom and Gomorrah. What joy and peace he must have had knowing God so closely. It's so hard for me to imagine actually being able to converse with God and have him speak back--literally!
But there's also the scary element of Abraham's cyclical sin in lying about his relationship with his wife. Age does not automatically sanctify us. Without the intervening power of God--through his mercy--we will continue to repeat the sinful patterns of our youth even when we are old. But we take heart because God's grace extends even to those who do not know him or honor him as God. Knowing the innocent intent of Abimelech’s heart, God extended mercy, even to a pagan king.