The Dog Returns: God Intervenes on Our Behalf a. But God. Here is that amazing phrase that we love in the New Testament so much. As we see here in verse 3, this “but God” is about God’s grace as well. Abraham had acted in a way that put the promise into jeopardy but also placed Abimelech into harm’s way. And so, God comes, not to Abraham, but to Abimelech in a dream. God pronounces judgment upon Abimelech telling him that he is a dead man because Sarah was actually Abraham’s wife. b. Abimelech protests. He says that he had no idea that Abraham was married to Sarah. He took Abraham at their word when they said that they were brother and sister. Abimelech’s cry for mercy sounds similar to Abraham’s cry for mercy for Sodom. “Will you kill an innocent people?” Of course, he is a pagan king, but in this instance, he is innocent and was acting with integrity. God responds to Abimelech with, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me.” God says, I didn’t let you touch her. God’s response shows that his initial curse on Abimelech was not out of ignorance, nor out of a lack of mercy. God knew what was happening, in fact, God was the one who was orchestrating everything. Then God lets Abimelech in on some insight about Abraham. c. The prophet. This is the first use of this word in the Old Testament and it is about Abraham. We don’t have any record that Abraham foretold the future, but his prophetic office was to be a blessing to the nations. We usually connect future telling with prophets but that is not true of all the prophets. Prophets were special men chosen by God to give messages to people. As we saw when God told Abraham about the destruction of Sodom, Abraham’s immediate sphere of prophetic influence was to be on his own household. Here, in our text, Abimelech is the one that get’s a message about the future. God says that if he gives back Sarah, Abraham will pray for him, and God would accept his prayer and he would live. This reminds me of a similar instance of God telling someone that he would accept a prayer on the behalf of another. Remember Job’s friends. God told them that Job would pray for them and that he would accept Job’s prayer. I have always found this fascinating that God would tell someone that, in the future, so-and-so is going to pray and I’m going to accept that prayer, when they pray, and then I will do something good because of that prayer. How can you doubt that God has our prayers already in his plan?