From Genesis 11, Terah settled in Haran on the way to the land of Canaan. Where they tired of traveling and/or was Haran a great and attractive city to live in?
In any case, Genesis 12 begins with the Lord commanding Abram to pick up and leave his home and the convenience of city life. The remarkable thing to me is that he went. What faith! I’ve always known faith to be so much more than a feeling. Faith is a trust in the unseen, the unknown and the unknowable. True foundational, Christian faith has content, substance and is the basis for all actions in our Christian walks. Abram’s faith walked out of Haran at 75 yrs old with everything and leading everyone in his family tribe including Lot and all that he had.
When Abram arrived at Canaan, the Lord appeared to him (which is so cool in itself!) and told him that this land is the land he will give to Abram’s offspring. At this point, Abram doesn’t have any offspring. Abram honored God there with an alter, and moved onward (presumably at the Lord’s guidance?).
Due to a famine in the land, Abram travels to Egypt. Upon entering Egypt, he conspired with Sarai to lie about the true nature of Sarai’s relationship with Abram. This bit always brings up several questions:
- Why did Abram lie?
He lied as a strategy to preserve his life. (Genesis 12:11-13)
- Is lying a sin?
- Did Abram sin?
- Was this a crisis of faith for Abram?
I doubt it.
- Was this lie-strategy a lack of faith within Abram?
Maybe. The Bible doesn’t say that Abram was afraid or lacking faith as I see it assumed so many times. Perhaps he wasn’t truly afraid so much as wise-to-the-world and thus trapped by worldly thinking a bit. Who knows?
- Does this part of the story undermine Abram’s example of faith?
Not to me.
Whatever is behind it, that little lie didn’t go well for the Pharaoh. God protected Sarai through afflicting Pharaoh with plagues. Pharaoh’s reaction catapulted Abram and Sarai back on their journey. Additionally, they left Egypt very rich – the stuff they had already plus the stuff Pharaoh gave them. God is good.
Dear Lord, author and perfecter of my faith, I pray to be brave and live in the adventure of the Holy Spirit’s guidance in my life. I seek Your Word, Lord. I seek to know Your will for my life, and I pray to be better able to listen to Your still small voice and obey. Lord, be with me when I fail, that my failure teaches me and by Your grace leads others to You. Amen.