“For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her.” (Genesis 20:6)
Every now and then there is something in God’s word that speaks to our heart in a fresh way and we wonder why we had not seen it before. Surely the verse above is one of those that the Holy Spirit can address to our memory and heart so that we have a much greater comprehension of God’s love and merciful kindness.
How often has the Lord withheld us from sinning? We may never know but if we are careful and honest in our reflections there may be many such occasions for which we can offer our gratitude, praise and worship. How often were we bent on an ungodly and sinful act or course in life yet the Lord kept us from it? Whether witting or unwitting, it makes no difference. The mercy of the Lord kept us from a destructive course or act that may have led to a most undesirable destiny.
The occasion for God making this statement was not to a man of faith but a pagan ruler, namely, Abimelech, at a time when Abraham doubted God’s ability to protect him. That this statement was made to a person who had not exercised faith in God is an encouragement as well as an eye opener into our past. When we, who trusted Jesus later in life, examine and reflect on our lives before we received Jesus as Saviour and Lord we will discover many times when the Lord protected us from the sinfulness of our own heart. This will lift our hearts in thankfulness, praise and worship directed toward our wonderful Saviour.
Our children and young people will face temptations just as we did yet as we pray for them we have this glorious expectation that as we pray for them day by day the Lord will respond by protecting them from the temptations that come their way. The fallen nature in all of us will always want to yield to the temptation but thank God He has provided a protection not only to the believer but to those for whom we pray. This truth will encourage us to pray more faithfully and with greater faith than we otherwise might have had we not known it.
There are many occasions in the Bible where people did not do the godly thing but we are privileged to learn from them without having to repeat them. In raising children we have but one opportunity. As grand-parents we have an opportunity with another generation so let us pray believing the testimony of the Bible and see what God will do. I am very sure that it was the faithful praying of my parents (and possibly others) that moved God to intervene in my life and keep me from sinning against Him even though my heart was set on sinning.
In most cases where I have been able to inquire, people that I have been involved with when they came to faith in Jesus Christ have had someone praying for them. In some cases that person had been praying for many years.
Pray for your children, pray for your grandchildren, pray for other children in your extended family and in your church family. Even pray for the children in your street. Pray that the Lord would keep them from sin and draw them to Himself.