The Book of Genesis

week 19

Chapter 12:10-13:4

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note: all scripture is from the NKJV unless noted otherwise

Gen 12:10-13 10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, "Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance. 12 "Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, 'This is his wife'; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 "Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you."

Abram was aware of the ways of the pagan lands and knew that his wife was very beautiful, which may have been a curse for a couple entering a pagan land like this.
The practice was in these days for a rich prince or ruler to take what they wanted, even someone's wife and to kill the husband.
So what would be the purpose of such a murder? It may have been a religious thing, as we have today not to commit adultery but ignoring the sin of murder and covetousness.
Or it may have been so the woman would not run away and go back to her husband.
Or lastly it just could have been just a power trip.
Regardless of the reason we see sin on each side, on the side of the Pharaoh and also on the side of Abram.
Abram was asking his wife to commit a little white lie, no big deal right?
After all he was looking out after his own skin regardless of what would happen to his wife.
Did you ever think about that? Abram was willing to lose his wife to another man, even if it was for a short time to save himself and his family.

Was it possible that Abram forgotten about God's promise?
Or was he trying to help God out, thinking that his wife was unable to have children and that this may have been God at work to take his wife, so he could marry someone else and fulfill God's promise to him.

I have to wonder how many times I have tried to do something thinking it was the right thing to do, kind of helping out God with my life.
We so often forget that this life is not our own, because we have given it to God.
But we do forget that He is God and He knows what He's doing.
So what happens? We end up like Abram and sinning thinking that this must be God's will. But God will not cause you to sin to fulfill his will.
So what was Abram's sin?
Once again just a little white lie, or a half-truth.
13 "Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you."
Reading this again I have to wonder if Abram forgotten about what God considered the marriage as.

Gen 2:24 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

God says that they will be one flesh, and as we learned in the study on chapter 2 that the one flesh is not just speaking of the physical, but also the emotional and spiritual.
Maybe Abram should have read in 1 Corinthians.

1 Cor 6:18-19 18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

Or maybe if he had the Psalms to read, he would have read this one.

Psalms 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

But the thing is, Abram didn't have these verses to stand on, but he did have the same God as David in the Psalms and Paul in his letter to the Corinthians, and as we do with His word!

What it came down to is, Abram's gut feeling, which we will see only gets him into trouble.
And his gut feeling was to say to his wife, "say you're my sister, it's OK it's not a lie because you are my sister, well at least my half sister".
If we look further ahead we see Abram doing the same thing again in chapter 20, but now having to tell the real truth after he is confronted and not a half lie.

Gen 20:11-12(NLT) 11 "Well," Abraham said, "I figured this to be a godless place. I thought, 'They will want my wife and will kill me to get her.' 12 Besides, she is my sister--we both have the same father, though different mothers--and I married her.

So Abram felt justified in what he was saying because he wasn't really telling a lie, just not the whole truth.
But that is one of the schemes of Satan, to twist the truth or to just leave an important part out, it makes you feel like (at least in your mind) that what you are doing is OK.
But as Abram was not really thinking of the possible consequences of his half-truth, so do we do the same thing.
Suppose I was a drug addict for 10 years.
Suppose I was to tell you that I used to do drugs all the time, when in reality I really did them all the time still today.
Now there would be a half-truth here in saying that I used to do drugs, because it is a partial truth just speaking of the past only. In reality what I would be doing is deceiving you by not telling you that I still do drugs today.

Now before we go too far, I just want you to know the truth that "I DO NOT DO DRUGS", this is just an example.

But do you see how deceiving and manipulating it would be not to tell you the whole truth?

So the question would be for you is; how far are you willing to go to get what you want. Are you willing to deceive or use someone that you love or care about to get what you want?
Before you say no, remember that's just what Abram was doing here with his wife.
To put it more bluntly Abram said, "Lie that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you."
Notice the little dig there "for your sake" that's how manipulation is. It tries to make the other person feel like they are doing something for you, which makes it seem so commendable on their part.

So let's look at the outcome of this lie.

Gen 12:14-16 14 So it was, when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful. 15 The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to Pharaoh's house. 16 He treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys, and camels.

What Abram thought would happen did, and he did save his skin from murder. But also he got paid for his lie. I wonder if Abram had sleepless nights thinking about what he had done, and how he was getting things he really didn't deserve.
But with any type of lie you will be exposed in the end.

Gen 12:17-20 17 But the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife. 18 And 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'? I might have taken her as my wife. Now therefore, here is your wife; take her and go your way." 20 So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had.

So how did Pharaoh know that Sarai was Abram's wife and that the plague was because of her?
Possibly by deduction my dear Watson.
It could have been as soon as Sarai came into Pharaoh's harem, that's when the plague started, and it's possible that Pharaoh didn't even acknowledge God, but felt it was a curse of one of his own gods.
Or it could have been the same as it was later on in chapter 20 when God came to Abimelech in a dream.

Gen 20:3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, "Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man's wife."

Regardless of how it was, the interesting thing is that Pharaoh was more commendable then Abram was, and gave heed to God.
So here we could call Abram, not a lucky man, but a blessed man of God, because even in his sin God was still watching over him.
And so it is with us as God's children, God is always watching over us. The only difference is that we have to sometimes pay the consequences for our sins.
So don't think that you can go out and sin thinking that God will forgive you and let you off the hook.
Yes it's true that God will forgive you, but you won't be off the hook.
Say in your arrogance you decide to have sex outside of marriage, and through this sin the woman gets pregnant, or if you are the woman you are pregnant.
Now you could further your sin by getting an abortion. But you probably wouldn't do that.
So the child is born, and you are either now married to a woman (or man) that you don't love, or you are paying child support (or raising a child on your own) for the next 18 years. And we could go on and on about the consequences.
The bottom line is, God has forgiven you, but you will pay for the rest of your life.

But in this case God was watching out for Abram and Sarai, because he didn't allow the sin to go any further then just Abram's lie. He protected Sarai from being taken as Pharaoh's wife.

Another interesting thing is that Pharaoh sent Abram away with all that he had, meaning all the things that Pharaoh had given him as we saw earlier in verse 16.

Gen 13:1 Then Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, to the South.

So Abram left with his wife, his possessions, and Lot.
And Lot? Where was Lot this whole time? I think that he was observing Abram.
And what kind of witness was Abram giving to his nephew Lot? Not a very good one, at least not one that would teach him to trust in the Lord, or even seek the Lord when troubles comes upon you. Because there is no mention of Abram seeking God about what to do concerning the situation.
So looking at this, Lot would see that it may be OK to lie and even prosper from your lie, or even to pretend to be part of the crowd you are with to save your skin.
Isn't that what Abram was doing? Dwelling amongst the Egyptians being one of them and taking advantage of them just as they would to each other?
What are you teaching others with your life style?
Are you really any different? Are you like the bumper sticker that says, "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven"? This is really not a biblical saying. The word tells us to be separated from the world and the things of this world.

1 Cor 5:9-11 9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner--not even to eat with such a person.

1 Peter 2:21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:

Jesus wasn't handing out bumper stickers to put on chariots "not perfect just forgiven". No Jesus said to "follow me".
So do people see the bumper sticker in you, or Jesus?
Do you choose to partake of the things of this world, or try to stay away from them?
I know that there are times when it's just downright tough to keep from sinning. But being weak is an excuse that we run to for comfort, when in reality we should run to Jesus who is our strength.

Gen 13:2-4 2 Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. 3 And he went on his journey from the South as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, 4 to the place of the altar which he had made there at first. And there Abram called on the name of the LORD.

Abram had now returned to where he was when the Lord spoke to him. As soon as he saw the altar he remembered God and His promise, and he probably fell on his face before the Lord realizing his sin and seeking God's forgiveness.
When we are in a sin we often forget about God's grace and forgiveness, but God always has His reminders, and as soon as we confront our sins we are on our face before the Lord seeking His forgiveness.
We seem to never learn to be on our face before we fall into our sin, seeking God's help to keep us from sinning.
Jesus even warned Peter about this, but did Peter listen? But before you condemn Peter, you need to look at yourself and ask the same question, do you always listen?
Let's look at the account of Peter not listening.

Matt 26:31-35 31 Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: 'I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'32 "But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee." 33 Peter answered and said to Him, "Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble." 34 Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." 35 Peter said to Him, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" And so said all the disciples.

Matt 26:40-41 40 Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, "What? Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

We are so much like Peter thinking "I can handle it from here God" I don't condemn Peter, I just think that he should be named after me.

Matt 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." So he went out and wept bitterly.

Once again falling on our faces crying out to God. It is a good thing to cry out to God, but wouldn't it be better to cry out to God for others, instead of because we blew it again?
And how do we do this? By being on our faces to keep from sinning.
Abram went to the altar that he built to the Lord.
Today we don't really have altars, but we do have knees and we do have His word to remind us of Him.
I remember a bible I had, it wasn't an expensive one, but the words in it are worth more then gold. This bible was my altar that I used to go to, crying out to God.
If you saw this bible you may think I got stuck in the rain with it, but in reality it wasn't rain but my actual tears as I cried out to God.
Where is your altar? Where do you go to be alone with God?
Through this study we saw how Abram lied and deceived, was self-seeking, took on the image of the world, and was finally broken by God.
Think about these things and which of them really represents your life lately.
Maybe you have been taking on the things of this world as part of your life style. Or maybe you have been deceiving to be excepted by others or even to persuade others to be a Christian. If you have been, then you have been representing a false Christ.
Maybe it's time for you to be broken and on your knees before God.
As we close this weeks study and you're saying to your self "yes this has been me, I've been deceiving others with my life style just to be excepted by them" or "I've been depending on my own gut feelings and not seeking God"
If that's the case then today is the day to be on your knees before God seeking Him.

I remember when I just came back to the Lord, and I was in church, and the altar call came for prayer. I so desperately wanted prayer but was afraid to go forward. So what did I do? I left, and as I was driving away I heard the Lord speaking to me asking me why I didn't go forward. And my answer was that I thought I would just make a fool of myself going up for prayer. And the Lord said to me, "how long have you been making a fool of Me to others". At that I turned around and went back to church and had them pray for me.
So how long have you been making a fool of God with your life style? Maybe it's time to be the fool for Christ. But then you wont be a fool but a wise man.
Jesus said:
John 6:37 "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.

The foolish thing is to not go to Him!

Psalms 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.

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