“And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.” (Genesis 12:10)
After Abram moved to Canaan at God’s calling, a test came in the form of a severe famine in the new “land of promise.” He became consumed with worry about business survival, leading him to make the decision to leave the land God had promised to give him and take himself and his family into the great empire of Egypt.
Egypt was dominated, as is every world system, by a pagan government. Abram knew this. Yet, motivated by a fear for his personal safety, colored by a self-induced, self-protecting imagination, he became willing to risk the moral compromise of his wife (to say nothing of the potential of destroying God’s promise of an heir) and made an awful decision (Genesis 12:10-13).
Sure enough, what Abram feared seemed to happen. Sarai was rather quickly taken into Pharaoh’s harem. And things seemed to go well as a result; he prospered doing business (Genesis 12:14-16). Sometimes, things work out as we think they might—but God’s sovereign plan will always override our foolish and deceitful behavior (Genesis 12:17-20).
It was a long time before the testimony of Abram was restored in Egypt. Not only did his sin become public knowledge, but the pagan rulers rebuked him for his error (Genesis 12:20). God may undo the potential damage of our foolish behavior, but the spiritual damage is real. The biblical principle is: “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).
Fortunately, God is also the God of mercy and forgiveness. Abram returned to Canaan, repented of his sin, and restored his fellowship with God. When such sin enters our lives, we can learn the lesson and regain our role with our Creator, just as Abram did. HMM III
From Days of Praise