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
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.” Genesis 12:13
I know it seems like it’s pick on Abram week, but just one more time let’s take a quick glance at the problems surrounding his Egyptian vacation. To this point, he has made decisions without God’s guidance, which has left him in a land where he wasn’t called to go. Now, to make it worse, we find that Abram has left his belt in Bethel!
What do you mean, you don’t see anything in the text about a belt? Look at verse thirteen again. Okay, so it doesn’t literally say Abram forgot his belt, but Paul tells us that he did.
“Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth…” Ephesians 6:14
Imagine that conversation between Abram and his wife…
“Look, Sarai! You’re a really beautiful woman see… so when we get down to Egypt, you tell everyone you’re my sister so they’ll treat me good.”
“Ummm… Abe, why would I do that? I’m not your sister, I’m your wife!”
“Yeah but honey, you’re a little bit my sister (see Genesis 20:12).”
You have to give it to old Abram… he called it well. In Egypt, they treated him good. All it cost him was his wife! Pharaoh took Sarai and Abram got a camel.
I don’t mean to make this sound humorous because it’s not. Abram’s little half-truth made a mess of things to so great a degree that a divine intervention by God is all that could restore Abram’s and Sarai’s relationship.
Why didn’t Abram tell the truth? By the way, a half-truth is not a half-truth… it’s a lie! Is it possible that because Abram didn’t trust God in the little necessities of his life (food), and because he failed to seek God’s guidance before he moved (prayer), that he was completely losing all confidence in God’s abilities to deliver on the promises He made? The problem with abandoning the truth is that without the truth all the rest of the armor disintegrates.
Had Abram completely forgotten the promises? God said He would make Abram a great nation! He couldn’t very well do that if Abram starved to death or even if the Egyptians killed him.
So what can we glean from this then? Do we trust God’s promises to us to such a degree that we are known by others as a people of truth? Can we speak these words with Paul?
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
- Sin – Not Worth the Trouble (meredithlbl.com)
- Genesis 12 – Part 3 – Abram Sojourns in Egypt (fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com)