In Genesis 12, God gave the first blessing recorded in the Old Testament. “Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.'” ~Genesis 12:1-3
God reassured Abram that He would show him where he was to go. He was leaving everything familiar to him, and he didn’t even know his final destination! Wow. He had to seriously trust God.
The great nation that God made through Abram is, of course, Israel, God’s chosen and blessed people. “And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed”- Jesus would come through the line of Abram, to redeem the world from sin and freely offer His gift of salvation and eternal life.
God later appeared to Abram. “And the LORD appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ So he built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him.” ~Genesis 12:7. Abram was in the presence of God!
So why, a few verses later, does Abram do such a foolish, untrusting thing?? “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. And it came about when he came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, ‘See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; and it will come about when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you.'” ~Genesis 12:10-13
Abram offered his wife to Pharaoh for his harem, so that he could save his own life! God struck Pharaoh with plagues and showed him the truth about Sarai, so that Pharaoh would return her to Abram safely. Nothing is recorded here about God chastizing Abram, however…
This must have damaged Abram’s relationship with Sarai, don’t you think? It was an act of selfishness and lack of faith in God’s provision and protection. Yet God stayed silent here and simply punished Pharaoh. I don’t know why. But I will say that I am very thankful that God still chooses to use and to bless imperfect people, like Abram and like me, even when we mess things up by acting on our own.
How many times have I decided to take things into my own hands to save my own skin? Yet God still loves me, cares for me, provides for me, forgives me! 🙂 Hallelujah!