Sunday, March 27, 2016

Abram had a Choice: Faith or Self-Sufficiency (Genesis 12:10-16)

Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, ‘I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.’ When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels
(Genesis 12:10-16,

The journey God called Abram to undertake wasn’t safe. Abram had to pass through the lands of many unfriendly kings. As Abram’s danger grew, his fear grew – especially in the land of Egypt. Pharaoh was the sort of king who took whatever he wanted. Abram was afraid Pharaoh would want his wife, Sarai, and kill her husband to have her. Abram would rather lose his wife than to protect her (Abram was faith-less here; Sarai was very obedience).

Abram had a choice: he could renew his trust in the God who promised to see him through; or he could attempt to solve the problem in his own strength and wisdom. He chose the latter. It was a perfectly understandable reaction; when things feel out of control, our first instinct is to attempt to take control. But in relying on his own shrewdness, Abram made the situation grow worst. He forsook his wife, ‘prostituting’ her to save his own skin.

When we trust in our own shrewdness, we draw a very strict limit around the solutions that are available to us. In my own experiences, many of those solutions are worse than the original problem, simply because I trust myself more than I trust God’s guidance and promises. When we rely on God, we open ourselves to a whole universe of solutions. Now, practically today, how to know God’s will in our lives? How to make God-centred decisions? For Abram, he can just ask God, but he didn’t. For us today, we have the Holy Spirit and the Word of God available and accessible to us. Get serious with the Word. To know God’s will is to have the mind of Christ; to have the mind of Christ is to know God’s Word: God’s will is God’s Word. It is through God’s Word that we can have faith in the God of the Word.

Every day we have a choice: faith or self-sufficiency.

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