a. Abraham sojourns. The story opens with Abraham no longer living in Gerar but he has moved about 25 miles to the southeast. At some point after the first encounter with Abimelech, Abraham thought it wise to move from that area. We have to remember that it’s not just Abraham, Sarah and Isaac traveling about. Abraham is a very wealthy man and has a lot of possessions. He has a massive amount of animals that need pasture land. He also has a large amount of servants as well. Remember way back when Lot was living with Abraham their two households could not successful operate as one and so they had to separate. Also, remember that back in chapter 14 Abraham had 318 trained men in his house. By now, that number could have grown. So when Abraham came to town, he literally brought a town with him. You can imagine what kind of issues this might bring when you are a sojourner on someone else land. As we will see, 25 miles is not much space between two wealthy men at that time. b. God is with you. And so we find the pagan king of Gerar, along with the commander of his army, Phicol, traveling the 25 miles to find Abraham. What is the first thing we read Abimelech saying? “God is with you in all you do.” The blessing of God upon Abraham is apparent. It is obvious even to this pagan king. What is interesting is that the same is said of Isaac and Jacob as well. James Smith points out that, “God sometimes blesses his people so visibly, following their efforts and crowning their labors, that their very enemies see it.” God was with Abraham and his family and it was apparent to people around them. c. Act kindly. After acknowledging God’s blessing upon Abraham, Abimelech asks Abraham to swear that he would act kindly. This word translated as kindly is a word that you find many times throughout the Old Testament. It is the word ches-ed. It is translated as kindness, lovingkindness, mercy, goodness, favor, loyalty, devoted, and unchanging love. It is all of those ideas wrapped up in one. It is a word often used of God and his disposition toward the people in which he has made a covenant. It is a merciful, loyal, loving kindness. Often with God, his che-sed is described as being everlasting as in 1 Chronicles 16:34 where David says, “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” So this is the kind of agreement Abimelech is looking for. He wants a mutual kindness based on a covenantal agreement. No matter what, we have each other’s backs. To which Abraham swears.