Daily Word

Unspoken testimony | Genesis 21:22-24

22 At that time Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army said to Abraham, “God is with you in all that you do. 23 Now therefore swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me or with my descendants or with my posterity, but as I have dealt kindly with you, so you will deal with me and with the land where you have sojourned.” 24 And Abraham said, “I will swear.”

Genesis 21:22-24 (ESV)

God is with you

This account seems kind of randomly thrown in here. Its bookends are the expulsion of Ishmael (yesterday) and the sacrifice of Isaac (chapter 22). But we know it’s not random. It gives us insight into Abraham’s interaction with his neighbors.

“The writer may have included this incident in the text, partially because it records the testimony of a Gentile king to God’s faithfulness (v. 22), but also to record Abraham’s strong testimony to God’s faithfulness (vv. 32-33). Furthermore it sets the stage for Isaac’s dealings with Abimelech (ch. 26).” (planobiblechapel.org)

How did Abimelech know God is with Abraham? Maybe it was due to the amazing birth of Isaac. Such miraculous news would travel far and fast! After his first encounter with Abraham in chapter 20, Abimelech would have known Sarah was way too old to have children. 

Precautionary measures

Abimelech knew also that Abraham had a reputation of deceitfulness. I imagine that, along with his continued prosperity, caused him to seek this treaty. This treaty was not just for the here and now, but for posterity. As quoted above, it would affect Isaac’s future interaction with Abimelech.

Unspoken testimony

Abraham’s life and actions had an unspoken testimony to Abimelech – both bad and good. Thankfully God redeemed the first encounter and further demonstrated His power in the 2nd.


  • Be aware that our lives are a living testimony to God. Non Christians are watching. Some will see and say, “If that’s a Christian, I’m not interested.” We can’t control their reaction but we can, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 NASB)
Love in sign language. Image from mastershandcollection.com/ *

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