Read Genesis 12
God came to Abram and told him to leave the land of his father. God said He would bless Abram and make him a great nation, giving him a great name and make him a great blessing. Wow!
Three greats for one person! Great nation – he would surely have lots of children if he were to be a great nation! That’s fabulous considering he and his wife hadn’t been able to have kids up until this point. Great name – God was going to give Abram a great place in history and give him a legacy. Great blessing – God was going to use Abram to bless others. How exciting this must have been to wonder how God was going to do these things in his life!
The Bible doesn’t tell us whether or not Abram had a relationship with God prior to this encounter. If he didn’t, wouldn’t this be all the more fantastic? Here Abram is going about his own business when the Lord of the universe appears to him and proclaims these wonderful promises to him! Awesome!
Okay, now you have some background. God spoke to Abram. Abram followed the directions to leave his country. As they got close to Egypt, Abram began thinking of his own wellbeing. He knew his wife was drop-dead gorgeous. Of course, the Egyptians would kill him to take his beautiful wife, he thought. To save his own hide, he convinces his wife to lie, saying she’s his sister.
Can you imagine? Sarai goes along with it. Okay, Abram I’ll lie for you, even though I might have to sleep with the Pharoh. Yikes!! I don’t know if I could do that. So they entered Egypt and as Abram feared, the Pharoh saw Sarai and took her into his harem because she said she was Abram’s sister. I personally would feel like I was just sold into slavery! How could Sarai agree to be given to another man? How could she submit to Abram, when it was lying?
The Bible again doesn’t tell us for sure whether Sarai heard God’s promises to Abram to first hand or whether Abram told her everything God told him. Perhaps she was present when God spoke to Abram. If she knew God was going to make Abram a great name, then maybe she thought she should go along with whatever Abram told her to do because God would some how cover or remove the lies. After all, how can you have a great name if you’re a liar?
Perhaps Sarai trusted Abram with her life. If she did trust him, maybe she thought Abram would get her out before she was violated by the Pharoh. Then again maybe it was God she trusted. I’d like to believer she trusted God, but later we find she laughed at God’s promise to give her a son, so there’s probably more evidence that she didn’t believe or trust God’s promises.
In any case, even though I just don’t understand how she submitted to Abram’s decision to call her his sister, God was able to bring good out of Abram’s bad decision. Isn’t just like our God? He makes us for our lack of faith. He comes through every time. He does exactly what He says He’s going to do. What an awesome God we have!!
©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade. Author of ThinkOnItBibleDevotions.com and BeingWomenOfInfluence.com websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.