Summary: Do you ever make mistakes? Believe it or not, so did Abraham! Learn what he learned from his mistakes - and how we really can trust God to take care of us.
Things to understand about Abraham:
1. The focal point of Genesis (not even the creation) but the call of Abraham – everything before builds to Abraham and everything after builds on Abraham
2. He is the most respected man on the earth (even more than Jesus) not from importance but sheer numbers of people (Jew, Christian, Muslim)
3. He is the prototype of all faithful people
Verse 1 – 3
This happened in 2,000BC. Moses was 1,500BC, David 1,000BC, Jesus 4AD
Haran is 700 miles north of Ur, southern corner of Turkey, border with Syria – fertile crescent.
This contained a command and a promise – leave all and follow Me and I’ll give you a new land.
Notice it was God who called Abram – God reached out to him, as He reaches out to us.
It’s the same today – Jesus said: Matthew 16:14 “If anyone would come after Me he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.”
Abraham 75, Sara 65
Who was it who appeared to Abram? Many, myself included, believe it was the “Angel of the Lord” spoken about in several places in the OT. The Angel of the Lord I believe was the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ.
In John 8:56 Jesus said: “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing My day, and he saw it.”
Ai (see picture) – became famous as the city 2nd city the Israelites tried to conquer when they invaded the land under Joshua in Joshua 7. That was after the victory at Jericho – then Achan took from the spoil after the Lord told them not to. It wasn’t until after the sin was dealt with that Israel could capture Ai.
The three cities mentioned were also on Jacob’s route when he returned to Haran later in Genesis to find a wife.
Abram would camp for a while then continue on until God told him to stop.
Verse 10 - 13
Notice God didn’t tell Abram to go to Egypt – but he does protect him there, sort of. This is the second attack on the promise.
Famines occur – and you can be right in the center of God’s will and still experience hardship. (went to Egypt because they relied on flood irrigation, not rain). Egypt used flood irrigation, and wasn’t as reliant on seasonal rains.
God will go with us, even if we don’t follow His will – Jesus said “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” But we will suffer the consequences of our actions.
It was a common thing to do, leave the place because of famine. The Bedouins in the region still do it to this day. And this is the first attack on the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. But God is faithful. It also prefigures Israel’s journey to Egypt later on.
This lying by Abraham was apparently genetic – because Isaac does the same thing later on (Genesis 26) with Rebekah when they were in Philistia. It was a half-truth as Sarai was his half sister – but again, God did not tell him to do this.
It’s nice to know that even when we lack faith, God still comes through when we rely on Him ultimately.
Verses 14 – 16
Sarai was 65 years old – but so beautiful that the king wanted her. Abram couldn’t refuse the gifts – even though it perpetuated the lie.
Verses 17 – 20
Even though Abram goofed – God was ultimately protecting them both – and judged Pharaoh.
God did it not only to protect Sarai but to protect the Messianic line – she was to be mother of who was to eventually give birth to Jesus. Perhaps God kept the relationship from being consummated.
The Word doesn’t tell us what those diseases were. Pharaoh didn’t “kick” Abram out – the Hebrew suggests he granted him safe escort – and Abram accepts. Isn’t it awful when the world has higher standards than the church? Abram leaves with his tail tucked between his legs.
God doesn’t rebuke Abram. Maybe it wasn’t a sin – God didn’t forbid him. It was perhaps a mistake but not a sin. It is possible to make mistakes while walking in faith? Yes. Abram didn’t ask God and it was an absence of faith.
In a way it was him saying “I can’t trust Yahweh in this particular area.” If you have to do something God wouldn’t approve of in order to get what God wants you to have – something’s wrong with that picture.
Verses 1 – 9
God returned to where he had begun. If Abram had done to the place of the altar before he went to Egypt he would have been better off.