Genesis 21:22–34 (ESV)
A Treaty with Abimelech
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
25 When Abraham reproved Abimelech about a well of water that Abimelech’s servants had seized, 26 Abimelech
said, “I do not know who has done this thing; you did not tell me, and I have not heard of it until today.” 27 So Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two men made a covenant. 28 Abraham
set seven ewe lambs of the flock apart. 29 And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs that you have set apart?” 30 He said, “These seven ewe
lambs you will take from my hand, that this may be a witness for me that I dug this well.” 31 Therefore that place was called Beersheba, because there both of them swore an oath. 32 So
they made a covenant at Beersheba. Then Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army rose up and returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and called there on the name of the
Lord, the Everlasting God. 34 And Abraham sojourned many days in the land of the Philistines.
Abimelech wants to be treated with fairness and truth. He wants a treaty with Abraham. I can’t blame him. The Lutheran Study Bible states: “Abraham agrees to a covenant and works out his differences with
the government so that he might live in peace. Good and orderly government is always helpful for the mission of the Church, and God’s people are required to support their government with proper citizenship. At the same time, the salvation God provides
does not depend on good governments like that of Abimelech, for God will continue to save His elect by the power of Gospel preaching and Sacraments, at times despite evil governments.
I pray: O Lord, give good government throughout the world so that the Gospel of Christ’s cross may be preached without obstacle
or persecution. Amen.
Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The Lutheran Study Bible (p. 47). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.