Week 12- Abraham and Abimelech

MONDAY — Read the passage with your team.

   1 Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar, 2 and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, "She is my sister." Then Abimelech king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.

   3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, "You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman."

   4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her, so he said, "Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5 Did he not say to me, 'She is my sister,' and didn't she also say, 'He is my brother'? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands."

   6 Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her. 7 Now return the man's wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all yours will die."

   8 Early the next morning Abimelech summoned all his officials, and when he told them all that had happened, they were very much afraid. 9 Then Abimelech called Abraham in and said, "What have you done to us? How have I wronged you that you have brought such great guilt upon me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should not be done." 10 And Abimelech asked Abraham, "What was your reason for doing this?"

   11 Abraham replied, "I said to myself, 'There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.' 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife. 13 And when God had me wander from my father's household, I said to her, 'This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, "He is my brother." ' "

   14 Then Abimelech brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife to him. 15 And Abimelech said, "My land is before you; live wherever you like."

   16 To Sarah he said, "I am giving your brother a thousand shekels of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated."

   17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave girls so they could have children again, 18 for the Lord had closed up every womb in Abimelech's household because of Abraham's wife Sarah.

Genesis 20:1-18

What does this passage have to say about integrity?

Why is that important?

TUESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

1) Which actions of Abraham and Abimelech displayed (or did not display) a commitment to doing what was right?

2) Do you think Abimelech was a believer?  Why or why not?  Are there any clues from this passage (v. 2, 11)?

3) This account seems to demonstrate that Abimelech tried to do the “right thing” and that Abraham did not, yet Abraham reaps rewards and Abimelech trouble.  Abimelech makes the excuse that he acted with “a clear conscience and clean hands” (v. 4).  Do Abimelech’s actions make him right in God’s sight?  Does “doing the right thing” mean you are living with integrity?

WEDNESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

4) Abraham’s deception of Abimelech was sinful, yet God brought good to Him despite it (v. 14-15) — and in the next chapter (Genesis 21:1-2), God fulfills the promise He previously made to Abraham and Sarah, blessing them with a child, “at the very time God had promised”.  Does Abraham’s sin separate him from the love of God?  Does God’s love give you an  excuse for your sin?  (We must not see God’s grace as a excuse for our failures, but rather a gift that forgives them and makes us able to turn from them!)

5) Did Abraham do anything to deserve God’s love and forgiveness?  Do you seek to earn your coaches’ pleasure or your teammates’ loyalty?  Do you constantly seek the approval of others, and for what reason?  Is integrity measured by what others think of you?  Can you earn God’s pleasure?

THURSDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

6) During this study we have established that integrity is “living a life worthy of the calling we have received”.  In light of that definition, can a person who does not know and love Jesus Christ demonstrate integrity?  Why or why not?  For what reason, then, do people sometimes describe an unbeliever as having integrity?  Do a person’s good actions accomplish integrity?

7) If you, as an athlete, work hard and treat others kindly and resist the temptation to cheat and listen to your coaches and participate in devotions daily, will God accept your actions as a life of integrity?  What must be true of you, in order for you to be made worthy, in God’s eyes?

FRIDAY — Discuss sport applications of integrity, and pray together.

· Ask your athletes to briefly reflect on what they’ve learned about integrity this week, and to repeat some of those things.  (Remind them of some of the Biblical truths about integrity you’ve discussed, if necessary.)

· Ask your team, “Based on what we learned about integrity this week...What does an athlete of integrity do?”  Do not settle for vague answers; challenge your athletes to go beyond general qualities of an athlete of integrity, and to determine what those qualities look like in action.

· Add the results to your team’s list of descriptions of the “athlete of integrity”, and be sure the list is displayed somewhere that is constantly visible, as a reminder to the team.

· Pray together as a team.  Encourage your athletes to pray for your team’s growth in regard to the discipline of integrity — especially in relation to some of the issues and challenges that you discussed together this week.  Challenge them to also ask for forgiveness, when applicable.  Give time for athletes to request prayer (regarding integrity or anything else), and pray together.

 

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Grove City CollegeBurrata WoodfiredCentral Christian College of the Bible - MI