10 At that time there was not enough food in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while. 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he spoke to his wife Sarai. He said, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 The people of Egypt will see you and say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me. But they will let you live. 13 Tell them you are my sister. Then I’ll be treated well and my life will be spared because of you.” 14 Abram arrived in Egypt. The Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. 15 When Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they told Pharaoh how beautiful she was. So she was taken into his palace. 16 Pharaoh treated Abram well because of her. So Abram gained more sheep and cattle and male and female donkeys. He also gained more male and female servants and some camels. 17 But the Lord sent terrible sicknesses on Pharaoh and everyone in his palace. The Lord did it because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18 So Pharaoh sent for Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19 Why did you say she was your sister? That’s why I took her to be my wife. Now then, here’s your wife. Take her and go!” 20 Then Pharaoh gave orders to his men about Abram. They sent him on his way. So he left with his wife and everything he had.
From this passage we know that famine caused Abram and Sarai to live in Egypt. We also know that Abram truly feared for his life to the point of allowing his beautiful wife to live with Pharaoh. Clearly his fear for his life was very real and I can’t help wonder how Sarai got her head around her new living arrangements! They end up getting kicked out of Eygpt to boot.
Yet the preceding passage of Scripture lists a number of promises God made to Abram concerning his future ie. I will make a great nation of you, I will bless you, I will make you famous, all families of the Earth will be blessed through you etc. Abram was going so well – he’d up and left his family and country in complete faith and obedience to God. What’s happened then?
Famine or the thought of lack has allowed doubt and fear to creep in. Would God truly provide for him and Sarai or would he have to muddle through on his own? It would seem Abram made his own plan and God’s promises seem to have been forgotten in light of the circumstances faced at this moment in time. We see the human side of the “Father of the Faith” and that he was grappling with his faith in God as we all do from time to time. This passage is a reminder that God’s promises remain true regardless of what we face in life.
Dear God, thank you that you are completely trustworthy. Help us to believe the promises in your word. Amen
Written by Ainslie Woods