don't take past mercy for granted

Genesis 20


And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.

Abimelech had just taken Abraham's wife (but he had not yet touched her), because he did not know that she was already married. The Lord had mercy on him because he did it in innocence. But now that the Lord showed him the truth, the Lord didn't say it was OK to continue in going the same way.


Now therefore restore the man [his] wife; for he [is] a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore [her] not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that [are] thine.

When the Lord has given mercy to us before, that doesn't mean that we can get away with being careless and taking His mercy for granted now. The Lord warned Abimelech to return Sarah, and that ...if thou restore [her] not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that [are] thine.

Maybe the Lord had mercy on us before because we did bad things without completely knowing better... but now that we know, it is extremely critical to make sure that we obey the Lord in what we now know.

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