10 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. 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.” 14 When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. 15 And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. 16 He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels. 17 But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18 So Pharaoh summoned 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 is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!” 20 Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, 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 Ps. Ainslie Woods