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Not Guilty By Reason of Sanity

Not Guilty Graffiti by Flickr User Duncan C, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial

Not Guilty Graffiti by Flickr User Duncan C, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

I have always wondered about the judgment from the court system that deems someone with a reason behind a crime they commit as not guilty. I mean, it would seem to make more sense for them to call the one proven guilty (but not fully responsible) by some other name–maybe “guilty but blameless” or something. But those who commit crimes are most certainly guilty, so calling them otherwise is perpetrating a lie that may be bigger than the crime committed because we have proclaimed a verdict that disagrees with God’s truth.

In today’s reading from Genesis 21:22 through Genesis 21:34, we find what happens when a man displays righteousness in everything he does. We will see why Abraham was truly not guilty, and we will see it hinges on his constant sanity.

Abraham calls for a meeting about a well his men dug that was apparently seized by someone in the camp of the Philistines. Unfortunately, there were no witnesses, so the situation is sort of at a stalemate except for one thing. Abimelech and the commander of his army worry that Abraham might expect them to pay a price for what was stolen from him. They point out that they have been observing him and they see that God is with him in everything he does. Because of Abraham’s favor in God, they have concerns about the possibility of a curse that could pass to their children and grandchildren.

To me, the definition of sanity is to have God with you in everything you do. When you have God in everything, you have His wisdom in everything too. In this case, it helped Abraham to make a wise decision that did not result in any kind of revenge or payback from either side.

Though Abimelech asked Abraham to not treat him unjustly because he knew what kind of power was with a man who consistently walked with God, I don’t think Abraham planned to do anything against him anyway. Instead, Abraham used wisdom in creating a covenant between all of them to mark his new well as his own in everyone’s sight. Doing that made sure all were involved and invested in keeping it under its rightful ownership.

At the end of this reading, we’re told that Abraham continued to live in the land of the Philistines for many years, even though he was a foreigner there. The Bible tells us that we are also foreigners and pilgrims on this earth because this world is not our true home. However, even though we are strangers here, may we as believers walk with God in everything we do. May we walk in such a way that others will see it and desire to keep things right with us even if only because they want our God to have favor with them. If we walk this way, we can remain righteous and clean (not guilty) by reason of God’s wisdom and sanity.

P.S. Last night, my mind was swirling with some great songs about being a foreigner in this land and about hope for a better place, so I decided to look up some lyrics. In the process, my computer froze, so it’s possible that one of the lyrics sites was unsafe. Just in case, I’m going to list some titles and a few of the lyrics, but instead of lyric sites, I’m going to link to YouTube videos. I try to keep my computer safe, and I don’t want to send my visitors to any dangerous sites either. That said, here are a few songs I really like…

1. This World is Not My Home

2. Packing Up, Getting Ready to Go

3. I’ve Got a Mansion (Just Over the Hilltop)

4. Is That the Lights of Home I See

5. Poor Wayfaring Stranger

6. Sheltered In the Arms of God

7. Temporary Home

October 24, 2013 - Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Is there a sanity plea?


    Comment by XXXLone | March 16, 2015 | Reply

    • I think your post about the god “Psyche” is a plea for sanity. 🙂 There are not enough pleas for sanity and truth though.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Crystal A Murray | March 16, 2015 | Reply

      • Those are the cases that make us who we are.


        Comment by XXXLone | May 6, 2015 | Reply

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