Summary: An exposition of Abraham’s (then Abram’s) travels into Egypt reveals the persistant faithfulness of God in spite of out faithlessness and forms the foundation to challenge us to believe the promises made to us in Jesus Christ.
10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, "I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, `This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you." 14 When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that she was a very beautiful woman. 15 And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. 16 He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, menservants and maidservants, and camels. 17 But the LORD inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram. "What have you done to me?" he said. "Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, `She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!" 20 Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.
INTRO. PROMISES: OF CONTRACTS AND COVENANTS
Prior to becoming a pastor, I worked as an auto insurance claims adjuster. On one occasion, I was faced with the unpleasant task of denying coverage to a person who holds a policy with our company. Apparently this gentleman had rented a very large truck to move to a new house and in the process of making the trip he had allowed another a third party to drive the truck which contained the entire contents of his home. While making the trip the person driving fell asleep at the wheel and rolled the truck into a ditch. Now, miraculously this gentleman, and the driver of the vehicle survived the accident but unfortunately the truck and all of its contents were destroyed in the process.
Now, as you can imagine this person reported the accident to our company with the expectation that he would be compensated for the replacement of the truck, the items in the truck, and the medical bills that were incurred because of the accident. Unfortunately the provisions of his policy did not provide coverage for a vehicle of this weight and they also do not provide coverage when a person other than himself or a resident relative is driving a rented vehicle. Because he did not abide by the terms of his insurance contract there was no coverage for his loss.
A relationship based on a contract is dependent on both parties upholding their part of the agreement and many people mistakenly believe that a Christian’s relationship with God mirrors this contract relationship.
* God helps those who help themselves.
* If I keep the Ten Commandments I will go to heaven.
* If my good deeds outweigh my bad deeds I have peace with God.
* I am not as good as Mother Theresa but I have never murdered or hurt anyone therefore I deserve to go to heaven.
The Bible, however, pictures the Christian relationship with God as a relationship based on God’s promise to be faithful in spite of our unworthiness and faithlessness. Abram’s story here serves to illustrate.
I. THE PROBLEM OF BELIEVING THE PROMISES OF A GOD WHO KEEPS THEM
1. The story of Abraham’s journey into Egypt comes in an odd place in the book of Genesis. As you may remember just previous to this event Abraham had heard the command of the Lord God to leave his native land of Ur and enter into the land of Canaan. This command was accompanied with promises. Lets recall them.
Gen. 12:1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
2. The Scripture testifies to us that Abraham did exactly as God had told him. He left Ur, he separated himself from his fathers household Haran, which was on the borders of his native country of Babylon and he entered Canaan. Abraham responded faithfully to God. God then made one more promise to Abraham