According to Moses, there are times in life when a busy schedule filled with interruptions and meetings will spare you from temptation. This may be the work of angels, prayers in the form of a hedge of protection or God at work behind the scenes to keep you out of trouble. After reading the passage below, I can recall phone calls or unexpected visitors sent my way to avoid temptations that I wasn’t prepared to face.
But Abimelech had not come near her, so he said, Lord, will you slay a people who are just and innocent? 5 Did not the man tell me, She is my sister? And she herself said, He is my brother. In integrity of heart and innocency of hands I have done this. 6 Then God said to him in the dream, Yes, I know you did this in the integrity of your heart, for it was I Who kept you back and spared you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not give you occasion to touch her, Genesis 20:4-6.
After his servants greet Abraham and Sarah, a lie opens the door for Sarah to join the king’s harem of women. Like any political leader, there was always a thought that someone would try to overthrow the king. Subsequently, many kings used harems to have as many children as possible, especially boys so that there would be at least one potential heir to Abimelech’s throne. However, when Abraham visited, Abimelech was kept so busy by God that there wasn’t any time to consecrate his marriage to Sarah.
For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not [b]adjusted and [c]adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to [d]a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently, 1 Corinthians 10:13.
While writing a letter to the Church at Corinth, the apostle Paul provides a history lesson of Israel’s past failures. These major blunders which the Bible calls sin serve as a warning not to follow in their footsteps. The passage above is a blueprint for overcoming temptation. Rather than feed your sinful desires, Romans 7:14-18, Paul asks members of this church to look for an escape route, a way out of temptation. Although this is never easy, if you apply Paul’s advice, you too can be spared from temptation by seeking God’s righteousness, Matthew 6:33.
by Jay Mankus