Peter Barnes: When Fear Leads to Sin, Genesis 20:1-18, Matthew 10:24:33 (1 March 2020)
Karl Marx: ‘The social principles of Christianity preach cowardice, self-
contempt, abasement, submission, dejection.’ Not cowardice! We are to
be strong and courageous.
1. The temptation to repeat sin.
This is similar to Genesis 12, to do with Abraham in Egypt (and also
Gen.26 for Isaac) – see Gen.12:10-12.
– Horatio Palmer: Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin;/ Each
victory will help you some other to win. Yet experience does not
necessarily make us wiser and stronger. Abraham forgets Genesis 12.
2. The temptation to fear.
– the Bible treats fear as a sin – 20:1-2. He took a liking to Sarah,
who was 90, but remember that she lived till she was 127.
One man will ask, ‘What comes of it?’
Another, ‘What is right?’
And this is what distinguishes
The vassal from the knight.
3. The temptation to make excuses.
Abraham has three excuses – 20:11-13:
(a) There was no fear of God in Gerar.
(b) He takes refuge in a half-truth. Lev.18:9, 11; 20:17 come later.
Abraham is like Adam (Gen.3:12) and the Samaritan woman (John
(c) God had caused him to wander from his father’s house. Matt.10:28.
4. God is greater than our temptations.
– 20:3-7, 17-18; Ps.105:12-15. Here is not learning from experience;
here is cowardice; and here is evading the truth – but here also is the
God who blesses His people and keeps them from evil.