Summary: What a scoundrel Abraham appeared when he took his eye off the ball.
I want to go on to Gen 12:10-20 and Gen 13. 14.
What happened when they got to the Promised Land?
1 How come Abraham did not remain in the Promised Land.
So many of us think that once we reach the goal God has for us that we have made it. Once we’re in the Promised Land everything will be easy and comfortable for us. We will live in this bliss with God.
Not only do we need to go into the Promised Land but we need to stay there.
Spiritually seen, once we start doing the will of God, Satan will do all he can to get us out of the Promised Land, ie out of the Will of God.
Abraham had the same problem. Staying in the Land once he got there.
We have a saying: The grass is always greener on the other side.
So why did Abraham leave?
Not only did Canaan not have running water in the toilets, but it ran out of food and water.
By this time Abraham had many responsibilities. Much wealth brings cares and worries of its own. He was responsible not only for himself but his wife nephew and all the servants.
Abraham had responsibility for many people and I believe he wanted to do the best for them.
I think he went about looking after them in his OWN strength as we have no record of God telling Abraham to leave the Promised Land. Indeed what he got up to down there would to me seem to imply for me that he was not walking with God.
There are for me three reasons why I think Abraham did not consult the Lord.
1. If he had, I believe the Scripture would have recorded it, as it would have been a special leading like his call from Ur. In other cases where God has called people to go elsewhere because of famine we see it recorded.
2. Another reason I think Abraham was not led of the Lord to go was that FEAR crept in. When you have no clear word from the Lord, fear can creep in. You have no assurance of God’s protection because you have heard from him on the matter. Lack of communion with God weakens our faith.
3. Because the whole episode brought dishonour to the God he worshipped.
So we see that Abraham had a problem. No food or water.
Humanly speaking he had to go out of Canaan and he had two choices.
a. To return to Ur 2,000 kms away (go back home) or
b. To pop over the border into Egypt about 500 kms away.
He knew Ur was out because he had a clear word from the Lord so this only left Upper Egypt.
In upper Egypt, he would have had no problem communicating, because the common language of the area was West Semitic.
I want to point out that Abraham was not going out to DEFY God, he just started slipping in his relationship with the Lord.
So we see Abraham leaving the Promised Land and going down to Egypt.
How often we start with God and land up walking in our own strength because we do not bring the Lord our problems.
I sense Abraham started backsliding.
We see no record of Abraham calling on the name of the Lord from Gen 12:8 to Gen 13.4. That is to say the next record of Abraham calling on the name of the Lord was in Bethel (Canaan) after he left Egypt.
How easy it is to slip into sin when we neglect fellowship with the Lord. That what the fellowship here is all about, to keep us on fire for the Lord.
Suddenly Abraham’s perspective changed. His big problem became "Me" rather than what does the Lord want.
Some Christians believe in the Trinity, but have a slightly nonbiblical definition :
I, myself and me!!
Abraham was scared, probably rightly so. It was a reflection on the evil of Egypt.
But you note there is no record of him going to the Lord for protection. No record of him saying to the Lord: Father I am scared that they will kill me because of Sarai. What shall I do.
He used human common sense. Self preservation often leads to selfishness.
Let us look at the various effects of his actions.
1. His actions effected the one who he was closest to and loved. Sarai. Abraham’s selfishness has real and tragic effects for Sarai.
What a life for Sarai.
i) She is taken away from the man she loves;
ii) She loses her family and her security;
iii) She is put in a place of serving other gods. Her faith in put in jeopardy.