Following the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah Abraham is once again on the move. This time he arrives in the lands ruled by Abimelech. In order to protect himself and Sarah he presents her as his sister once again and once again Hashem intervenes to save them both. This time however Abimelech questions why Abraham has told this tale of to him about Sarah being his sister.
Bereishis 20: 9. And Abimelech summoned Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us, and what have I sinned against you, that you have brought upon me and upon my kingdom a great sin? Deeds that are not done, you have done to me.”
It is a fair question. Both times (with Pharaoh previously) Abraham could have trusted in Hashem that he and Sarah would have been okay. What this suggests is that Abraham is still growing in that trust and that Hashem is providing him with reasons to put his faith completely above expecting only good.
Abraham answers the question however saying that Sarah is the daughter of his father but not his mother.
Bereishis 20: 12. And also, indeed, she is my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife.
Abimelech sends Abraham on his way loaded with riches. Abimelech feared G-d and recognized that Abraham was favored by or had at least a closer more righteous relationship than he did which is why he did not harm him and even was gracious to him despite Abraham’s deceit.
Both these incidents where Sarah was taken by earthly powers and then returned because both Pharaoh and Abimelech feared G-d. When we think about the culture of these times we see Abraham and his interactions with Hashem but do not consider the context under which these circumstances took place.
The culture was decidedly corrupt leading to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and Abraham believes that there was no fear of G-d where he was forced to travel. It turns out however, that there was indeed fear of G-d. What Abraham then becomes in this case is the catalyst for that fear of G-d.
It is as though Abraham becomes the seed to reawaken their fear of G-d that they had been ignoring. It is because of this that both Pharaoh and Abimelech send Abraham away with riches in acknowledge of the presence of Hashem.
Genesis 20: 17. And Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his handmaids, and they gave birth.
Abimelech and his people stopped giving birth while Abraham and Sarah were there because they were being judged by Hashem and reminded of the fear of Hashem. Once Abimelech shows his fear of Hashem and recognition their normal lives are restored.
The flow of righteousness is blocked by chaos. This means that you cannot expect good results to come from bad actions. Consciousness evolves itself by momentum building one good deed upon another in a succession mitzvoth that leads to holiness or unity with Hashem.
It sometimes just takes a single act or thought of righteousness to bring the entire atmosphere of thought into line. The lesson here is that prayers, mitzvoth and tzedekah all seed Consciousness with righteousness.
When chaos or unrest causes a lack of inspiration (stopping the birth of new ideas) then righteousness will restore that flow one step at a time. Stay tuned…B”H
For LOCAL INFO on Kabbalah, Torah and a local events calendar click here