We are in for a fun one today of people just doing awful horrible things.
Abraham moves his tents and stuff to a new place and decides to pull the same scam on the local rubes that he pulled on Pharaoh. He says Sarah is his sister again and the local ruler decides to marry her. I wonder what Sarah’s opinion on the matter was? Was she cool with being property passed on to other guys at her husband’s behest?
God shows up and tells the local ruler, Abimelek that He’s going to kill him because he married a married woman. Polygamy is only cool with God if it’s one man, and many women. None of this one woman, lots of dudes business.
Abimelek rightly points out, “Lord, your favorite guy there lied to me.”
And God changes his tune and says, “Oh, okay, yeah, I know. It’s cool. Just give Abraham his wife back.”
So next morning, Abimelek says, “Dude… what the hell?”
And Abraham says, “Well, man, I thought you were a horrible pagan who would kill me for my hot 90 year old wife, so we went with the sister routine. I mean, it’s not a total lie, she is my half-sister. (Ew…)
So Abimelek gives Abraham stuff and the pick of his lands in which to dwell, plus 1,000 pieces of silver. All in all, it was a pretty successful lie.
And God restores the ability of Abimelek and his wives to have children because God decided to punish the one guy in this story who did nothing wrong and all in all, seemed like a pretty decent human being.
Isaac is finally born. Yea!
Then Sarah catches Ishmael mocking Isaac and demands that Abraham send Ishmael and Hagar away. Abraham has a moment of conscience about this, but God shows up and tells him, “No, no, dude… it’s cool. Send your son off into the desert to never see his father again. He’ll be fine.”
So Abraham sends Hagar and Ishmael off into the desert with nothing but a few meager provisions and they quickly run out of water and are dying of dehydration.
Something tells me Ishmael is NOT going to be buying Abraham any Father of the Year coffee mugs for Father’s Day.
God shows up and tells Hagar, “There’s a well right over there.” And Ishmael and Hagar presumably live happily ever after away from the woman who beat the crap out of her and the guy who sent them both off into the desert to die.
Also, Abimelek and Abraham make a treaty because what this story needed was an interlude of Bronze Age politics.
Here’s how this chapter should go:
“Abraham,” God said. “I think it would be cool if you take your son Isaac and go and kill him on an altar and burn his remains as an offering to Me.”
“No,” Abraham said. “I’m not going to do that. Just…no… that’s messed up, Lord.”
Instead God, who knows all things, tests Abraham and Abraham is cool with it. They go through this charade for the rest of the chapter with Isaac imagining that his dad is GOING TO KILL HIM.
Well, God says, “Just kidding. lol” at the last minute and Abraham goes, “Oh, you scamp!”
And Isaac promptly returned the Father of the Year coffee mug to the local Hallmark store and starts to wonder if Ishmael was the lucky one.
Also, more of Abraham’s relatives have more sex and more kids are born and out pops Rebekah would will be entering our story in the next chapter.