There are 66 verses in the N.T. which speak the name of Abraham. Abraham is used by Christ and His apostles as a form of teaching to Christians. And so our understanding of Abraham’s life is prescription to our faith this day. You want to know how to be pleasing to God? God says, Learn about Abraham.
Mention of Abraham in Acts is found exclusively in sermons. Abraham is not only an example we should look upon as Christians, he’s also a standard of spiritual wealth worthy of the pulpit: Peter in the temple (3:13, 25), Stephen before the Sanhedrin (7:2,8, 16, 17,32), and Paul in Pisidian Antioch (13:26). In the Pauline epistles, lengthy discussion of Abraham is offered in Romans 4: 1-25 and Galatians 3:6-29.
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.
Lack of nourishment is detected, physical provision is no longer available. This is cause for relocation. A challenge takes place in which faith needed take action. Trust in God and go elsewhere, once again.
Do we as Christians today, recognize a threat? Do we have the discernment to identify a lack of nourishment? Would we remain in an area that had no means to provide for us? Friends, sometimes you have to make sacrifices in order to live closer to the church. You need to let go friendships which starve you spiritually. We must relocate away from the place of danger.
11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are.
Interesting to note the descriptive nature of Sarai’s beauty. Even in her old age she was recognized as attractive in the eyes of others.
In this context Abraham has a scheme to achieve. And when plotting a tactical approach to a dangerous situation involving your wife, it’s always wise to first mention her beauty.
12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live.
Heathen practice was to murder the husband and take the wife as property. And so Abraham’s concern was valid. What was not justified was his lack of communication with God for his attempt. He should have sought inspired council before moving forward. He didn’t, and it resulted in a botched up plan. It would not be the last.
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.”
Survival mode has been set forth. Abraham doesn’t want to die. If only he had kept in mind his self preservation was imminent, to the promises God gave him prior.
Do we tend to do the same. God promises to take care of us if we simply do as He commanded. Yet we tend to want to try it our way instead of His. We do this with church discipline. We do this with evangelism. Benevolence. Those outside the body of Christ do so with false plans of salvation, worship, and behaviour.
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 before Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace.
Abraham’s item of love and union, Sarai, is now identified by the enemy and is taken into Pharaoh’s desired location, his haram. Away from her husband, Abram. This as a result of Abraham’s tactic to remove some of the truth from the narrative. Leaving the Egyptians to interpret at their own judgment.
16 He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.
And so what seems to be a generous gift, on the surface. Will turn out to be a curse. It is interesting to note that as a result of Abraham’s poor judgment regarding this experience, millennia of division and war would be the consequence. For Hagar became his wife and bore a son named Ishmael. And til this day war in the Middle East revolves around this moment in history.
17 But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai.
Pharaoh didn’t take the time to investigate the situation before making Sarai his property. Perhaps her beauty blinded his ability to discern. Or even pursue any information that would hinder his ambition to have her. This coupled with Abraham’s poor decision to hold back the entire truth. Resulted in the justice of God needing to be administered.
We have no excuse today when it comes to the Bible. Due diligence must be applied to read, study, and rightly divide it. Basically give it the proper interpretation, the Author’s interpretation. If we don’t we remain ignorant, and will suffer the consequences.
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!”
Pharaoh wasn’t willing to be smart enough to make deeper inquiry into Sarai, and her connection to Abraham. But he sure decided to be smart enough to recognize the source of his woe. He blamed Abraham. And he wanted the punishment to stop immediately.
Are we quick to identify our punishment? Are we paying attention to the source of our woes? I had a past friend who was always dealing with trouble. Every single day it seemed bad things would find him. The reason? He kept making stupid decisions with his life.
20 Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.
This event comes to a close, but not without damage which will rear its ugly head soon enough.
What can we learn from this account? Don’t trust in yourself when challenging moments come about. Trust in God, don’t be willing to compromise your faith in order to save your hide.