Abraham and Sarah, Canaan, curse instead of blessing, Egypt, famine, Genesis 12:18-19, Genesis 13:10, harem, hindrance, hyposcrisy, Ishmael, Lot, Mark 4:19, obstacles, private correction, Promised Land, public display of our disobedience, public rebuke, Sodom and Gemorrah, worldly riches
In a time of famine Abraham chose to go down to Egypt. He suggested his wife Sarah act like his sister so that he would not be harmed by Pharoah. Abraham’s vagabond days of being sustained by the mercies of God ended abruptly as he turned to Egypt as a source. He had a full belly but a bankrupt heart!
Remember this was the same man who walked away from his home and family and vowed never to return. This same man faced new enemies everyday in Canaan and never flinched or backed down. In those days he walked in obedience to the known will of God. But now that Abraham had succumbed to fear and entered Egypt, he was out of God’s will. He no longer walked in obedience and anointing.
When we walk away from the known will of God we forfeit God’s protective hedge of protection. Abraham walked out of Canaan, his fellowship with God, away from the tent and the altar.
The outcome of Abraham’s disobedience was that Sarah was put into a situation of real danger. The king claimed her for his harem, and the lie Abraham told opened that door. Abraham was trying to protect himself, but in protecting himself he exposed Sarah to indecency and danger.
Not only was Sarah endangered, but so was Lot. Abraham’s nephew went down to Egypt with him. Later on when the allurements and enticements of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah cast their spell over Lot, we are told that he saw Sodom as though it were the land of Egypt. (See Genesis 13:10) This lust for comfort and worldly glory was enhanced during this stay in Egypt. Abraham and Sarah quickly got over Egypt but Lot and his family never recovered from the worldly attachments they discovered in Egypt.
Egypt ultimately made Abraham very rich. You say, “What’s wrong with riches? They are not bad, but a blessing?” Yes they can be a blessing unless they come prematurely from a wrong source before we are ready to handle them. Jesus taught us the difference between “owning things” and “things owning us”. (See Mark 4:19). Jesus taught it was the “delighting in riches” that choked the Word in a person.
In Egypt Abraham was given sheep, oxen, menservants, maidservants, donkeys, and camels. This was the wealth of the oriental world. But when he came back into the Promised Land, the first thing we heard was the strife between Abraham’s herdsmen and Lot’s herdsmen over the riches they received in Egypt. Abraham could deal with the riches, Lot could not. In addition, Abraham willing offered up the Promised Land to Lot. It was promised to him, not Lot. Wow!
Furthermore, we are told Abraham and Sarah were given maidservants, one of whom was named Hagar. Through Hagar Abraham later conceived Ishmael. Ishmael is recognized by Muslims as the ancestor of several prominent Arab tribes and being the forefather of Muhammad. The price of living in Egypt was extremely high and is still being paid today.
Abraham was called to be a blessing, but when he got into Egypt, he became a curse instead!
“The Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.”
A Christian out of fellowship with Christ is of no help to the lost people around him. Instead, he is actually a hindrance. His life of hypocrisy and weakness is a stumbling block and a plague upon the hearts of those who are watching him.
I end with this dramatic scene. Here was God’s man Abraham standing before a pagan king who had better morals than he. Listen as Abraham was publicly rebuked for his folly.
Then Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife, take her and go.” (Genesis 12:18-19)
There is nothing more degrading for a Christian than to neglect God’s warning and afterward get rebuked by the world. God would always rather correct His children in private first. It is never God’s heart to make a public display of our disobedience. He loves His children too much to desire this type of display.