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The second division of Genesis now begins. The story begins with God speaking to Abraham (Abram) and telling him to leave his family and homeland and go to a land that he had never seen before. God tells Abraham that he would bless him and make of him a great nation. He also promises that Abraham would be a blessing to others in this place and that God would bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him. In other words, Abraham could be sure that God would stay near him and watch out for his best interests.

Abraham buried his father, Terah, in Haran and obeyed God's command to move on toward this land he had been promised. He took his wife, Sarah (Sarai) and his brother's son, Lot, with him. They traveled on toward the land of Canaan building altars unto the Lord as they went. God appeared to Abraham once again and told him He would give this land to his seed. At this point, Abraham and Sarah did not have any children. This must have seemed a strange promise to Abraham who was now 75 years old.

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Genesis 12:10 "And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land."

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Notice there is nothing said here about God telling Abraham to go into Egypt. God promised Abraham in verses 1 & 2 that if he would go to the land God showed him He would bless him and make his name great. God may have allowed this famine in order to test Abraham's faith. If this is the case, Abraham failed the test! It is so hard to wait on God sometimes, and so easy to do things on our own without asking Him for advice. We want to "fix" things ourselves. Abraham knew that nearby Egypt did not have to depend on rain for their crops. Egypt was watered by the Nile River. So he packed up and went to a safer environment where the food was plentiful. Once there, he found himself in a predicament. His wife was very beautiful and he was afraid some of the men of Egypt would want her and kill him to have her. So he asked her to tell everyone that she was his sister. This was not actually a lie because even though she was his wife, she was also his half sister; the daughter of his father but not his mother. (Gen. 20:12)

Pharaoh saw Sarah and took her to his house. He gave Abraham sheep, oxen, asses, camels and servants for Sarah. What a quandary this was! If he refused Pharaoh and told him the truth he would surely be killed; if he didn't, he was committing his wife to live in Pharaohs harem for the rest of her life. This is what happens many times when we leave God out of our decision making!

God intervened and struck Pharaoh's house with "great plagues," and somehow conveyed information to the ruler regarding Sarah's true relation to Abraham. The Pharaoh, incensed at what had happened, told Abraham to leave his country and take his wife with him. He even provided an escort for them!

I'M SO GLAD GOD IS WATCHING OVER US: EVEN WHEN WE DON'T ASK HIM TO!


FOOD FOR THOUGHT

1) Do you think God was testing Abraham by allowing a famine in Canaan? Do you think He test's us by similar means today?

2) Do you think Abraham lied when he told everyone Sarah was his sister? Was this a sin?

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