A few weeks ago, the weather was so nice. Fall weather is one of my favorites because of the pumpkins, leaves falling, colors changing and hot coffee.
But all of a sudden, a crazy cold front came through and it was below freezing. Even during the day, it was barely above 32 with the wind chill of five! It was like someone turned off a light switch.
From warm to cold, it was shocking. And so was Abram’s behavior in Genesis 12.
“The Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your offspring I will give this land.’ So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him.” (Genesis 12:7).
Abram was promised the land of Canaan for his family and future generations. God chose one man to be the father of His people, the ones to be set apart for Him, the Israelites. Abram recognizes the honor and builds an altar to worship the Lord.
Can you imagine being that close with God as he promises you everything you ever wanted?
But just like that, in an instant, things changed.
“There was a famine in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt to stay there for a while because the famine in the land was severe. When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, ‘Look, I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ They will kill me but let you live. Please say you’re my sister so it will go well for me because of you, and my life will be spared on your account.’” (Genesis 12:10-13).
Right after God promises Abram land and offspring, a famine sweeps through and they are hungry. Egypt has food, so he thinks they must go and find food there. Here, Abram makes two mistakes.
- Abram should have trusted God to provide for them. God led them to the land He wanted them to have. God would have protected and provided for Abram. But Abram doesn’t seek God when they get hungry, he turns to another nation for food.
- He lies and tries to save himself. Sarai is told to pretend to be his sister, not a very good plan if you ask me. But Abram knew his life would be spared. He didn’t think far enough ahead of what they might do to his wife, but he knew he would still be alive.
How could a man who had just been so close to God, a man who had been obedient and left everything behind to receive the promise and blessing of the Lord, make such bad decisions?
Just like our weather, one minute Abram is praising God and the next he’s trying to save himself, sacrificing his wife to do so.
Let me be honest with you friends. As Christians, we sin and fail. But our proper response should always be to listen to the Holy Spirit’s conviction, repent and ask for forgiveness.
God never leaves you; he is always with you. But sometimes our flesh takes over and we choose sin over God, just as Abram did.
Becoming a Christian does not mean you will be perfect, or you will never fail.
It does not mean you will have an easy life, without temptations.
It means you have someone at your side who is more powerful than your sin.
It means you have the power to overcome temptation, but when you fail, God is faithful and just to forgive.
Our lives as Christians can look so much like Abram: on fire for the Lord one day but giving Him the cold shoulder on the next.
So today, let’s turn our eyes and our hearts to the Lord and seek His guidance and wisdom for the days ahead. May our decisions, our speech, our thoughts and our actions be pleasing unto the One who has called us out to be set apart as His people.
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