“And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.”...” (Genesis 20:2, ESV)
The more I've read this story, the more indignant I get.
For the second time (Gen 12:13 being the first), Abraham tells everyone that his wife, Sarah, is merely his sister in order to protect himself from the local powers. Then (for the second time!), Sarah gets handed off as a wife to the local ruler.
The first reaction I have: "What kind of man are you?!" The second reaction: "C'mon! Are you seriously doing this again?" (The third? "Oh Sarah, the things you put up with...")
But then I have a more productive reaction: Our God is so gracious with us. If anyone was outraged by this, it was God (thus the plagues and death threats accompanying Sarah's additional marriages, tell me that's not a fatherly reaction.).
Yet what does God do? He doesn't strike Abraham down and move on to a better follower. He blesses him and makes him the father of a multitude. When the father of the faith fell flat on his face (twice), God responded with grace and not justice.
For all my indignation, I'm too hard on Abraham. His worst moments were recorded for all posterity. I bear a much lighter load that my own sin is not nearly so public. But public or not, the grace I need is the same grace Abraham needed.
Thank God that he does not give us what we deserve!