1 Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar,
2 and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” Then Abimelech king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.
3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.”
4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation?
5 Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,’ and didn't she also say, ‘He is my brother’? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.”
6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her.
Read the last sentence again: Do I even need to provide any exegesis of this passage? Is it not clear that God worked in King Abimelech to will and to act according to His good purpose? (Philippians 2:13) Is it not clear that God directed this man’s heart like He directs channels of water? (Proverbs 21:1).
When King Abimelech took Sarah to be his wife he intended to have relations with her, and as you know about men, he probably intended to do it immediately. Humanly speaking, Kings in those days were sovereign. They could do what they wanted and NO ONE could go against their wishes or they risked death. But after Abimelech took her, what happened? God kept him from having marital relations with her! For whatever reason, God wanted to keep Sarah from being violated.
But the point is God worked in Abimelech to will and to do according to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Do you think King Abimelech intentionally kept himself from her? God did not let the man touch Sarah or to even go near her. It is clearly recorded in verse 6 - God did it, not Abimelech. Where is man’s free will in this passage? This is not an isolated anomaly in the actions of a single man but an example of the way a sovereign God works in our lives EVERY DAY. Slaves have no free will and that is what every human who ever lived is, a slave. According to Romans 6:17-18 (AND v22) we are slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness - and slaves have no free will.
Free will is an abhorrent doctrine and does not exist in God’s Word. We become children of God by HIS decision, not ours (John 1:13).