And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb. 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. Genesis 12:9-10
Remember what Abram was doing prior to these verses? He had pitched a tent and built an altar. He built an altar to God in recognition of His provision and promises. What’s Abram doing now? Honestly, he’s lost his nerve and is running scared!
Why? What happened? How did he demonstrate his confidence in God so greatly one moment, then the next find himself cowering in the land of Pharaoh?
The text tells us there was a famine in the land. That means no food! Don’t miss this… When called by God, Abram left everything behind to seek the promises God gave him. He fully trusted that God would make good on these promises. He made it to Canaan.
But he didn’t believe God could give him food in a land devastated by famine. This is big, friends, and we need to see it. God promised to bless Abram, to make him a mighty nation, to make him a blessing to all the other nations. He gave him promise after promise to ensure that he knew his offspring would outnumber the stars!
Surely God could provide him with something to eat. We look at Abram and say, “Really?” “You trust God to do the impossible… but you don’t think He can feed you?” (I probably should be careful here not to scold too loudly, because…)
Don’t we resemble Abram much too often? We declare from the rafters that our salvation is secure in Christ Jesus, but worry about whether there will be enough funding to get through the month. Doesn’t that unexpected expense that depletes our bank account send us reeling with worry about how we’re going to make ends meet? Don’t we try to take matters into our own hands?
Jesus would one day respond to His disciples with these words. “Look around at the birds. Do you see them sowing and reaping and storing food in barns? Who takes care of them? God does! Look at the flowers. Who nourishes them? God does! Do you think you have the ability to add even one hour to your lives? Of course not (Matthew 6)!”
Simply stated, our Lord thought it ridiculous to spend our time worrying over food, clothing, and shelter.
Jesus would continue, “Don’t you think your Heavenly Father knows your every need? Don’t you know He has every intention of giving to you what you need?”
If God’s promises are true, then what we don’t have… we don’t need. Or at least we don’t need it yet.
When we worry about our circumstances, we admit that we don’t believe God cares. By worrying, we declare that our God can’t provide for us and meet our needs.
Because of his lack of trust, Abram’s life (along with those with him) is about to get a lot more complicated. When we choose fear over faith the same will be true for us also. We would do well to heed Paul’s words.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7