“Say you are my sister …so my life may be spared for your sake.”
I’ve been stomping my feet in Egypt this week, reading about how Abram handed his wife over to Pharaoh. He was afraid the Egyptians would kill him to have his beautiful Sarai, so he panicked and reached for a half-truth to save his life.
How ironic that Pharaoh was the one to convict Abram. “Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? ” Abram was supposed to be the one set apart; chosen to be the father of many nations, yet God used a heathen to show him how lost he really was.
It was a low point for Abram, but he becomes my hero of the faith at the very next turn …
In the echoes of Pharoah’s rebuke, Abram cut his ties with Egypt, took Sarai by the hand, and headed back to “the place where his tent had been at the beginning.”
This short phrase is huge. In the face of his sin, Abram went back to the beginning. He trusted God’s plan enough to lose ground and go backwards.
And at the end of that trip, God lifted Abram’s eyes to more than he ever imagined.
What hope for all of God’s people! When we seek Him for a fresh start, the road to repentance becomes a canal of new birth, and through it we are transformed. Abram was.
Jesus answered him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ John 3:3
God used the roads of Abram’s life to make him a new man and teach him the backwards ways of His kingdom:
- That the first shall be last
- The Promised Land is built upon lost ground
- And the elderly and barren will give birth to many nations
Many times, I choose the high life and shiny promises of Egypt over the humble roads of Trust and Patience. I’m in love with feeling accomplished and ahead of the game. And when I get too deep in my own plans, I’m too proud to start over.
Lord, give me grace.
Abram was able to place himself on the road of repentance because he had a unique calling and a landscape of promises.
You and I must boldly go, for we have a ram in a thicket, an empty cross and grave, and the Holy Spirit of a covenant God.
On Abram’s road… grace abounds.
Where are you today? Are you surrounded by pyramids of guilt and shame; nauseous from swallowing half-truths? Are you fearful in Egypt; hustling to manage your own fate …only to hurt the ones you love?
I take great comfort in the fact that even heroes of the faith have been there, and God’s back roads are paved with mercy. That comfort is for you too, friend.
Let’s cut our losses and go back to the beginning. Let’s return to the place where we have nothing to offer but a desperate cry for help.
Let’s turn often to where lost ground springs with new life. Where the spilled blood is not our own.
That’s the place, child of Abraham. Turn.
“The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23