Summary: Abram resorts to fear and deception to preserve his life.
That’s no lady. That’s my sister.
• Winston Churchill's immortal words: "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills." It sounds exactly like our family vacation.
• Family members have responsibilities.
• An exhaustive study shows that no woman has ever shot her husband while he was doing the dishes.
• All families face problems.
• “The man who seldom finds himself in hot water at home is the one with a wife, several daughters and one bathroom.”
• Tonight we are going to look at a father who stepped over the accepted line.
• He went too far, but God was there to pick him up.
• Last week, we saw that Abram had deepened his relationship with God.
• This week, we see him stumble and fall, in a series of terrible decisions.
• Let’s look at our text.
Gen 12:10 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."
• Things have never changed, have they.
• “Honey, I’m doing this for your benefit!”
Gen 12:14-20 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.
I. Abram’s Failure.
Notice the first failure in his life.
A. There was the issue of the famine, and Abram left the promise land.
• The failure comes in the form of trust.
• Remember the promise God gave to Abram?
• Gen 12:1-3 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And 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. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
• Now is it just me, or do you hear in that promise that God would take care of Abram and Sarai?
• If he would have stayed put, God would take care of him.
• Abram was known for his faith, but it fails here.
• When the famine hits, he went to the world system for supply.
• Here is one who heard from God, obeyed, and then God appeared to him.
• Yet when the first famine hits the land, he hits the road.
• This failure in the famine was a failure of faith.
• PS. All sins are essentially failures in faith.
B. There was the issue of the facts.
• You can’t call Abram a complete liar, just a partial liar.
• Sarai was, in fact, his half sister.
• But the relationship that surpassed that happened when he took Sarai as his wife.
• So when the question came up, he lied.
• Remember I said, failures are essentially failures of faith?
• He misled because he didn’t trust God to protect. So this, too, is a failure in faith.
• A half truth is a whole lie.
• We teach discretion. What is the difference in discretion (not revealing all the facts) and a half-truth?
• The purpose! Discretion wise restraint in speech and the purpose is to protect.
• A half-truth is withholding part of the truth in order to mislead.
• But Abram was protecting. Protecting self does not count especially by purposeful misleading so others will believe to a lie.