Fare for Egypt

This One-Year Reading Bible plan is not for a person like me who cannot resist the urge to chase after frogs, and meander off the trail. So I hereby, henceforth, do now bequeath unto me, the liberty to run after rabbits or to stop to smell the roses!

That being said, I’m going back to Genesis 12-13, Abraham and his side-trip to Egypt!

The portion that has caught my eye is Genesis 12:10-20.

Genesis 12:10-20

God’s Call

The Lord told Abram I will take you to a land I will show you. That land was Canaan. And though he must have felt quite a spectacle being a monotheist in a pagan society, he built an altar to the Lord and worshipped Jehovah in that land anyway!

He was bold like that. Strong, and full of faith. But then…

…now there was a famine in the land

…the famine was severe in the land

Famine

What happens when I experience a famine? Especially if I’m in the middle of doing something that I think to be of God? What do my famines look like? Would my response be similar to Abraham’s?

Abram’s Response

Abram doubts God, or at least His call (raise your hand if you can relate). Things aren’t going so well. As a matter of fact, things are severely dried up and there is absolutely no fruit to show for his obedience.

So he does what any burdened husband would do, and says yes to a job transfer down to Egypt.

No mention of God directing Him there, or even a prayer to the Lord committing his ways to Him.

Abram’s Results

Pharaoh commanded his men concerning Abram; and they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had. 12:20

Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. 13:2

He certainly seemed to fare well during that famine, didn’t he! Is this a case of Jehovah-Jireh?

Genesis 13:1-4

What was the Result of the Result?

The immediate result of the “blessing” he acquired from Egypt was strife. Genesis 13:1-13

Because both he and his nephew Lot had so much flocks, herd and tents and servants, there was not enough land for both of them to be supported.

There was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmens of Lot’s livestock.

So How Much did it Really Cost Abram to Travel to Egypt?

TEN GRAND

1) Left the land God called him to (disobedience)
(tho totally understandable naturally speaking due to the severe famine in the land)

2) Asked his wife to disobey (lie) as well (caused another to sin)
(tho it was for both of their greater good)

3) He tried something that got him hooked, and it’s an “addiction” that affected his child’s life as well (Gen 20:18; 26:1-16)
(listen, honey, do it just this once, that’s all, just this once)

4) Fails to protect his wife from the hands of a stranger (does he lose her trust?)
(but it’s such a small price to pay for the life your husband)

5) His integrity starts to crumble
(he did tell the truth, Sarah was his sister too! 20:12)

6) Loses his testimony as Pharaoh finds out about his lies and schemes
(well, he did give Pharaoh an opportunity to experience the Lord personally! 12:17)

7) Gone are the good old days of simplicity and family
(but look, his nephew benefits from the trip too. 13:5)

8 ) Riches took precedence over family unity. There’s not enough land for all the cattle, the only solution is to divide up. (Was that really the only solution?)

9) And just where did Abram get that maidservant named Hagar, anyway?
(but Sarai, she will be such a great help in the kitchen. It’s a provision from the Lord. I’m sure you’ve prayed about wanting more time in your schedule!)

10) Lot’s heart. When Lot had to make a life-changing decision, what was his criterion? He based it on…”what was most like Egypt!”
(Yes, I want to serve the Lord full-time, but my nephew deserves the best the world has to offer and I want him to prosper, afterall…he’s like my very own son!)

Genesis 13:1-18

What was Abram’s Alternative?

This story reminds me a lot of the book of Ruth. One theme to trace in that 4-chapter book is the comparisons between Elimelech, who left Bethlehem (God’s land) because of the famine, and Boaz, who endured the famine in God’s land. (I’m going to show restraint and not chase that bunny any further!)

But that book does present to us the alternative. Live through the famine. Be driven to God. Learn to trust.

We trust God the most, when we don’t have to trust Him

Is there any hope for that kind of trust?

Abram eventually does learn to believe and trust the Lord. He goes through the most grievious “famine” ever and does not “go down to Egypt” to escape it. He trusts God wholly, especially when he needed to trust Him most! Read about it in Genesis 22!

O Lord God, thank You for the many blessing in this life. But I pray that You would grant me discernment between blessings and curses, between Your provision and ill-gain. I desire to walk in Your ways more fully every day! Amen.

Maps

Genesis 12:6-9 – Abram travels to Canaan

Genesis 12:10-20 – Abram goes to Egypt

Genesis 13:1-4 – Abram returns from Egypt

Genesis 13:1-18 – Lot and Abram divide

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