Questions for Littles: What was in the land (v10a)? Where did Abram go (v10b)? Where were they when Abram told Sarai his plan (v11)? What did he think that the Egyptians might do (v12)? What did he ask Sarai to do (v13)? What did the Egyptians see in v14? Whom did the princes of Pharaoh tell about her (v15)? What happened to Sarai? How did Pharaoh treat Abram (v16)? Why? What did Abram have? What did Yahweh do to Pharaoh (v17a)? Why? What did Pharaoh somehow figure out was the reason for the plagues (v18)? Who is rebuking whom in v18-19? What did Pharaoh do in v20? Where’d Abram go (v1a)? Who went with him (v1b)?The passage for this week’s Old Testament reading must have been humbling for Moses and the Israelites who were with him.
It isn’t difficult for us to surmise that they considered themselves to be great moral superiors to Pharaoh, and perhaps even think that the plagues that the Lord sent upon Egypt were somehow indications of their own superiority.
But here is father Abram on the receiving end of a very correct and scathing rebuke from Pharaoh himself. And the “great plagues” from Yahweh in v17 aren’t because Pharaoh was wicked, but because Abram was!
And then there is Pharaoh, sending Abram back to the promised land. That’s a mite bit less dignified than when Yahweh had called him! But Abram hadn’t valued the land. He got a little hungry and wanted to head for Egypt.
Sound familiar? It should! Because that’s exactly the response of the generation that first received this book of the Bible, when they got hungry in the wilderness.
And aren’t we a little too much like them ourselves? Sanctification plummets when we’re hungry, or tired, or busy, or uncomfortable. We don’t value the covenant blessings of God over temporary good feelings.
We come up with plans to stop other people from sinning—by ourselves sinning. Notice that it was a judgment against Abram that the plan worked!
Of course, the good news is that Abram wasn’t saved by works. He was saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. And so may you and I be!
When has the Lord used the wicked to humble you? Did you learn your lesson?Suggested songs: ARP78A “O Come, My People” or HB89 “The God of Abraham Praise”