Blunders Lies & Disgrace
The Lord’s Day, April 11, 2021
Abram our hero has blemishes. The man of faith struggled with failure and doubt. He was not always honest. Too often he was a coward. He was like us.
ABRAM: A PRACTICAL MAN.
10 Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land.
God has said He will bless him, so Abram expects blessings
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
“You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”
(Mark 1:11 NLT)
The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan.
Abram’s practical solution, part 1.
Where to go? Only one practical solution. Egypt.
10 For the land that you are entering to take possession of it is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and irrigated it, like a garden of vegetables.
11 But the land that you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water by the rain from heaven,
ABRAM: A MAN WITH A TOO PRETTY WIFE
11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance,
Abram’s practical solution, part 2
These are the first recorded words of Abram in the Bible.
“that the impressions which her beauty, real or imaginary, had originally made upon his fancy, being continued by habit, had not been effaced,” (erased or dimmed in his mind) though she herself was doubtless much altered for the worse.” Biography on The Life of Samuel Johnson.
Abram’s problem is he has a very beautiful wife! A beautiful woman can be a problem. It can get a guy killed.
12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live.
Getting His Wife on Board
13 Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.”
13 And when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, “He is my brother.”’”
Not as bad as it sounds.
First, it was only a half-lie because Sarai was his half-sister.
Designed to buy time so they could escape.
Nahum Sarna has explained: “Where there is no father, the brother assumes legal guardianship of his sister, particularly with respect to obligations and responsibilities in arranging marriage on her behalf.”
Missing just one thing.
None of this came from the LORD.
ABRAM: SMART BUT NOT FAITHFUL
14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful.
Got to give Abram credit for some savvy.
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Abram’s short cut runs into a dead end
15 And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house.
He had forgotten one thing: Pharaoh.
ABRAM: MISERABLY RICH
16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.
2 Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, …
22 The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.
ABRAM: CHOSEN BY A GRACIOUS LORD
17 But the LORD afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.
3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
9 … boils breaking out in sores on man and beast throughout all the land of Egypt.”
18 So 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,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.”
ABRAM: HUMILIATED, RESCUED, AND RENEWED
20 And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.
He did not disbelieve in God. He forgot how great God is.
1 So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negeb.
2 Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold.
3 And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai,
4 to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the LORD.
This terrible episode in Abram’s life should produce hope in us.
The church’s one Foundation
is Jesus Christ her Lord;
she is His new creation,
by water and the Word;
from heav’n He came and sought her
to be His holy bride;
with His own blood He bought her,
and for her life He died.
The church shall never perish!
Her dear Lord, to defend,
to guide, sustain, and cherish,
is with her to the end;
Revival ’is not going down the street with a big drum, it is going back to Calvary with a big sob’.