Summary: He left a physical famine and found himself in a spiritual famine, a famine that came upon him on the basis of his faltering faith in the Lord’s ability to take care of him.
When Faith Falters
Gen 12:10-13:4 (Living)
10 There was at that time a terrible famine in the land: and so Abram went on down to Egypt to live.
11-13 But as he was approaching the borders of Egypt, he asked Sarai his wife to tell everyone that she was his sister! "You are very beautiful," he told her, "and when the Egyptians see you they will say, 'This is his wife. Let's kill him and then we can have her!' But if you say you are my sister, then the Egyptians will treat me well because of you, and spare my life!"
14 And sure enough, when they arrived in Egypt everyone spoke of her beauty.
15 When the palace aides saw her, they praised her to their king, the Pharaoh, and she was taken into his harem.
16 Then Pharaoh gave Abram many gifts because of her--sheep, oxen, donkeys, men and women slaves, and camels.
17 But the Lord sent a terrible plague upon Pharaoh's household on account of her being there.
18 Then Pharaoh called Abram before him and accused him sharply. "What is this you have done to me?" he demanded. "Why didn't you tell me she was your wife?
19 Why were you willing to let me marry her, saying she was your sister? Here, take her and be gone!"
20 And Pharaoh sent them out of the country under armed escort--Abram, his wife, and all his household and possessions.
1,2 So they left Egypt and traveled north into the Negeb--Abram with his wife, and Lot, and all that they owned, for Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold.
3,4 Then they continued northward toward Bethel where he had camped before, between Bethel and Ai--to the place where he had built the altar. And there he again worshiped the Lord.
Today, I want to speak about “How to Keep Your Faith from Faltering”.
One of my favorite Hymn writers is Fanny Crosby.
Although she was blind, Fanny Crosby wrote over eight thousand hymns.
There is a great story behind how she came to write the Hymn titled “All the Way my Savior Leads Me.”
Story has it that Fanny was worried about money that she needed to pay bills.
She needed five dollars and she did not know where she would get it.
Instead of letting her faith guide her, she let her fear consume her.
As she was worrying about the situation a knock came at the door; it was someone who felt led to give her five dollars.
This person had no idea of her need, but felt led to give Fanny this amount.
To Fanny, this was a rebuke of her lack of faith and trust in the Lord.
It was out of a faltering faith that Fanny Crosby wrote “All the Way My Savior Leads Me.”
In the believer’s journey of faith there are going to be those moments when faith falters.
Just as Fanny Crosby had a faltering faith, today’s study of Abram will reveal a faltering faith.
And if we look into our own journey of faith, we too, will see moments where our faith faltered.
You could say that a faltering faith is inevitable, but it does not mean that we should not try to avoid it at all cost.
Any study of the life of Abraham is a study that can help us learn lessons that may help our faith grow.
This study may help us realize the attitudes and choices that can hamper our journey of faith and perhaps we can avoid those attitudes and choices when they come our way.
We must remember that the journey of faith is a process of maturity and that there are different stages within the process.
There are stages of great success and there are stages of great defeat.
And our faithful God uses both success and failure to mature us in our faith.
Abraham started his journey of faith in Ur, but along the way he was sidetracked and he and his father Terah settled in Haran.
But after his father died, he responded in faith to God’s call and continued on his journey until he made it to Canaan.
In our text today we find Abram in Canaan, the place where God wanted him to go.
You could say that Abraham is in the center of God’s will, but that would soon change.
It would change because trying circumstances would come to test Abram’s faith and Abram’s faith falters.
Abram’s faith will crash in our text, but the crash is not terminal.
God in his faithfulness will use Abram’s failure to bless Abram and grow Abram in his life of faith.
It is from these verses that God’s people can learn how to keep their own faith from faltering when they face trying times.