The word hypocrite is an amalgam of the Greek prefix hypo-, meaning “under”, and the verb “krinein”, meaning “to sift or decide”. Thus the original meaning implied a deficiency in the ability to sift or decide. This deficiency, as it pertains to one’s own beliefs and feelings, informs the word’s contemporary meaning. 1
What causes us to lie? At times we simply intend to exaggerate the truth. In other instances we are afraid of what telling the truth will mean.
This week we will muse on the pathology of Abraham’s chronic deception. And hopefully, in Abraham, see ourselves.
1. What does the pathology of Abraham’s lying suggest?
2. What part of Abraham’s story here is comforting to you?
3. Why do you think God chose to heal Abimelech’s wife?
4. In chapter 21 God keeps another promise. How does that make you feel about Him?
5. Why do you think God protected Ishmael?
6. How much could Abraham’s “covenant” with Abimelech really mean?
Follow this link to read further commentary on Genesis 20-21.