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10 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. 11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” 14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. 16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.
17 But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife. 18 So 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.” 20 And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.
1So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negeb.
2 Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. 3 And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, 4 to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the Lord.
Watch the Sermon
Summary: This week we are returning to our study through the book of Genesis. Last year we started in Genesis 1 and traced the theme of God creating all things and particularly creating humans in His image to worship and work for His glory. We saw sin enter the world through the deception of the Serpent and the man and woman's lack of trust in God's Word. Sin continued to increase with Cain and Abel, and with all people in the days of Noah, but then God sent the flood to bring justice to the earth and to start over through Noah's family. But even after the flood we saw that mankind is bent to rebel against God. Noah and his family sin, and then in Babel the people sought to build a tower out of brick all the way up to heaven as a show of their independence from God. But even there, God displayed his power through confusing their languages and scattering them over all the earth. Following that scene in Genesis 11, we are introduced in chapter 12 to a man named
Abram. God speaks to Abram and tells him "I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing" (12:2). Abram responds in faith and leaves his home and goes where God tells him.
But not long after hearing God's promise in verse 2, Abram's faith is tested. There is a famine in the land that God has sent him into and instead of trusting God's plan, Abram turns from the path and goes down to Egypt. Out of fear for his own life he tells his wife, Sarai, to lie and tell the Egyptians that she is his sister. How could this be? Why would God choose this man who seems so faithless to be the one through whom He will bring about his promised blessing? Has God made the wrong choice?
Review and Apply
Why do you think Abram leaves the path that God has told him to follow? Is the famine a legitimate justification for abandoning the path?
How do you respond when your own faith is tested by the circumstances of your life? How do you typically respond? How do you want to respond?
When Abram is afraid of the Egyptians he tells Sarai to lie in order to protect his own life because he thinks he will not be caught. What are the areas of your life where you are tempted to be dishonest in order to protect yourself? Consider various relationships: at work, in your marriage, with your children, with your parents, with Christians or non-Christians.
Despite Abram's faithlessness, God protects Sarai by sending plagues on Pharoah. What does God's preservation of Sarai teach us about His faithfulness to His own promises?
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