Genesis 12: 10-13
Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife. Then they will kill me but will let you live. Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”
Abram knew that he would be killed so that Sarai could become someone’s wife. It was the way of life at that time. Unfortunately, when he told this lie and also asked Sarai to lie, he wasn’t showing his trust in God or in His grace. God had already guided Abram and Sarai this far in their journey. He had protected them and provided for them. Yet, fear and worry won out.
Are we really any different today? We trust, we are patient, we see God’s hand on our lives, yet we allow Satan to creep in with worry, doubt and fear. We allow Satan to take up residence in our hearts and minds where only our Lord should be present. We wallow in his temptations instead of casting them aside and filling ourselves with praise and thanksgiving and hope for God’s promise of blessing. We’re all guilty. Just as guilty as Abram and Sarai. Just as guilty in not trusting God when everything looked hopeless and desperate.
So what do we do? Sometimes we tell that lie, or stir things up to make things happen but this is our solution. It isn’t God’s plan for us nor is it the result that he would have chosen for us. We open ourselves up to temptation and circumstances that may never have happened if we had given God complete control of our lives.
Genesis 12: 14-16
When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that she was a very beautiful woman. And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, menservants and maidservants, and camels.
So….at first it appears that the lie prospered Abram. You have to wonder why Abram would actually allow his wife to be taken into Pharaoh’s harem. Was she really less valued than the property (sheep, donkeys and servants) that he gained? I realize that during this time frame that she was considered property but God had promised to bless Abram with many children with Sarai as his wife, not as Pharaoh's wife. It does sound as though Abram didn't value Sarai as much as he should have.
God valued Sarai. God values the husband and wife relationship. God values truth. God values complete trust. God’s grace overrides everything.
Genesis 12: 17-20
But the LORD inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!” Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.
You and I can shake our head at Abram and Sarai’s folly because we can read up on what happens and see God’s grace and provision. Yet, when it comes to our lives and the mistakes that we make, we have to consider that we really aren’t any different than these two.
We don’t have continue the cycle though. We can prayerfully seek God’s will for our lives daily and minute by minute, if necessary. We can humble ourselves to learn from our mistakes and to grow in our trust of God’s love and grace.
How about you? Are you attempting to humble yourself and grow in your trust of God’s love and grace?
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Telling a Lie and the Trouble it Caused: Abram and Sarai....continued
I have been published online and in print as a freelance writer. I am a writer for SpurOttawa and I have taught for many years in a classroom setting and within the community. Currently I am a casual educational assistant with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board.