Eternity Daily Bible Study

The Life Of Abraham


Number: 548

Verses: Genesis 12:10-20

Topic: Abraham Takes Care of Himself

Date: 30th November 2005

 

Genesis 12:10-20 HCSB There was a famine in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine in the land was severe.  (11)  When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, "Look, I know what a beautiful woman you are.  (12)  When the Egyptians see you, they will say, 'This is his wife.' They will kill me but let you live.  (13)  Please say you're my sister so it will go well for me because of you, and my life will be spared on your account."  (14)  When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful.  (15)  Pharaoh's officials saw her and praised her to Pharaoh, so the woman was taken to Pharaoh's house.  (16)  He treated Abram well because of her, and Abram acquired flocks and herds, male and female donkeys, male and female slaves, and camels.  (17)  But the LORD struck Pharaoh and his house with severe plagues because of Abram's wife Sarai.  (18)  So Pharaoh sent for Abram and said, "What have you done to me? Why didn't you tell me she was your wife?  (19)  Why did you say, 'She's my sister,' so that I took her as my wife? Now, here's your wife. Take her and go!"  (20)  Then Pharaoh gave his men orders about him, and they sent him away, with his wife and all he had.

 

Abraham fails to consult God about the famine or about his expedient ruse and ends up acting disgracefully. Abraham goes wrong by:
  a) leaving Canaan because of the famine
  b) misjudging the Egyptians and
  c) lying about his wife

 

Firstly, Canaan was the place of blessing and honor. This was the land that God had given him. He was to stay in it, and if it got tough he was to pray about it. This is a word to pastors who have been called to tough churches, or believers in tough marriages - who feel like moving on – pray about it at length and only go if God lets you. Do not go “down to Egypt” simply because there is a “famine in the land”.

 

Secondly Abraham had come from Ur, from the land of Nimrod the predator. He saw the whole world outside his family as dishonorable and predatory. He was wrong. Both Pharaoh and later Abimelech prove much more honorable that Abraham expected. We often misread others motives based on our own past. The fear of man is a snare. We should only fear God instead. Isaiah, who lived in terrible times of political intrigue says this:

 

Isaiah 8:10-13 ASV Take counsel together, and it shall be brought to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.  (11)  For Jehovah spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying, (12)  Say ye not, A conspiracy, concerning all whereof this people shall say, A conspiracy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be in dread thereof.  (13)  Jehovah of hosts, him shall ye sanctify; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

 

We are not to fear the plots of men and their conspiracies or to attribute such to them, rather God alone is to be our fear and our dread.

 

Thirdly Abraham lied about Sarah. We need to stop fearing things in advance. Before any trouble arose Abraham made up his foolish defense. In fact, if he had not done this, and had just trusted God and been honest, no trouble would have occurred. Honesty is the best policy. Cross your bridges when you come to them, not before. Anxiety causes us to make foolish plans and implement silly strategies that only get us into trouble. As the Psalm 37 says “Do not fret it only leads to trouble...”

 

Now Abraham does this not once – but twice, as he repeats this mistake with Abimelech in Genesis 20. Abraham's weak points are fear and pragmatism, when the threat arises he works out a scheme, a short-cut, a way through - without consulting God first. He makes three such mistakes – with Pharaoh, with Abimelech and with Hagar /Ishmael. Yet God is so committed to Abraham that He blesses him anyway and he comes out of the sojourn in Egypt with cattle, slaves and camels. God blessed the other mistakes as well – making Ishmael into a great nation, and giving Abraham 1000 pieces of silver, cattle goods and wealth from Abimelech.

 

God so blessed Abraham that even his worst mistakes were covered and that even his “stupidity” worked out for good in the end! Oh that we might be so blessed! In Romans Paul quotes one of David's Psalms to prove that righteousness comes by faith:

Romans 4:6-8 HCSB
  Likewise, David also speaks of the blessing of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:  (7)  How happy those whose lawless acts are forgiven and whose sins are covered! (8)  How happy the man whom the Lord will never charge with sin!

 

Some people are blessed even when they do the dumbest things. Abraham, Jacob, Samson and David are among them. God commits Himself to some people and NEVER charges them with sin, their sins and lawless deeds are forgiven and are COVERED. God may discipline them, but He never condemns them. They are always His heroes of faith! Righteousness is credited to them apart from their works.

 

Abraham is never censured by God (though he is rebuked by man) - even when he falls into sin and folly. Everything Abraham does is blessed – even lying about his wife! He came out of Egypt a very wealthy man. Yet if you or I had tried such a thing we would end up in Pharaoh's dungeon or even worse! Because God is with Abraham he always “lands on his feet”!

 

Abraham made these serious mistakes, out of fear, and yet God let him live and blessed him and sent him on his way safely: “Then Pharaoh gave his men orders about him, and they sent him away, with his wife and all he had.”

 

This is the favor of God!  God has a higher logic than mere fairness. He has a logic of covenant love, and this covenant love has come to us in Christ. He blesses those who He wishes to bless. It is as simple as that! In Christ we have the blessings of Abraham! God gave His beloved Son for you, and with Him He will give you all things! (Romans 8:31-34)

 

Blessings,

 

John Edmiston (johned@aibi.ph)

 

 

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