Yesterday we read about Abram’s faith, how he trusted God enough to obey Him and follow Him. But Abram was not perfect. Like all of us, he made mistakes, he had lapses in judgement. Today we’ll read about one of those times. Verses 10-13 read,
Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live.13 Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.”
Abram had not yet entered Egypt when he let his worries get to him. He was thinking of what might happen and what could happen. God reminds us, not to worry about tomorrow because today has enough of its own trouble (Matthew 6:34). But that is really easier said than done, right? I mean Abram had to think about what might happen when they entered Egypt, didn’t he? He had to protect his life. Did Abram really imagine God had brought him from Ur to Haran to Egypt and would just leave him? Did he forget that God is the LORD? His actions say yes, he forgot. What did Jesus have to say about worrying about the future? Matthew 6:27-34 in The Message says,
“Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
It seems like Abram chose to worry about what might happen because he forgot God was with him. He feared what could happen and chose to lie instead of trust. Understanding that God is actually with us means we can leave the details to Him, we can trust that He has us in His protection and in His sovereignty. Deuteronomy 31:6 reads,
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
Imagine yourself a child in the park with your father. Is he holding your hand? Is he teaching you to catch a ball or is he walking with and listening to you? Now imagine a group of large dangerous looking boys entering the park, blocking the area you need to go. Do you have to fear them as long as you’re with your dad? What does your father do? Does he leave your side and let you walk through the gang alone? No, of course not! He stays with you and protects you. If those boys try to hurt you, your dad steps between them and you. Without your father by your side, you would have a reason to fear, but with him, you have no reason to be afraid.
Abram forgot he could trust God. Abram forgot all God had done for him, his father, and his father’s fathers so he came up with a plan to protect himself. He lied. People claim that he didn’t lie at this point. But I say he did, whether Sarai could technically be called his sister or not is irrelevant. Abram hid the important fact that they were husband and wife from the people who needed to know it. Verses 14-16 continue the narrative.
When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. 16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.
Abram and Sarai’s lie worked. The pharaoh not only let Abram live, he let him flourish. Sure, Sarai was in his house against her will to be used as Pharaoh pleased but she and Abram were alive. There were consequences for Abram’s sin and even through the consequences God protected His promise to make Abram a great nation. If Sarai had gotten pregnant in Pharaoh’s household, would she and Abram have stopped waiting for God’s promise? Would we doubt who God’s chosen people are? We don’t know because God didn’t let that happen. Even in her sin, God protected Sarai. He punished Pharaoh and his household even though they were ignorant of their sin. But they did not stay ignorant. Verses 17-20 read,
But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife. 18 So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.” 20 And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.
God’s love is truly amazing. Abram and Sarai chose to trust themselves, yet He still protected them. They chose to lean on their own plans and forget that God had great plans for them. We know that if they had chosen righteousness and not lied, God would have protected them because He had promised Abram he would become the father of many nations. God doesn’t forsake those who love Him, toss out His promises, or forget His covenants, even when we do.
Believer, what are you worrying about? Stop, remember who God is and trust Him to be who He says He is. Are you afraid of bad news? There is no reason to be if you trust the Lord. (Psalm 112:7). Walk in the peace of Go because you have nothing to be anxious over, God’s got you!