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Abraham finds out that a little "white lie" can seriously hurt him.

Abraham finds out that a little "white lie" can seriously hurt him.



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    Liar Liar Presentation Transcript

    •  This narrative shows us that even the strongest among us struggle and fall. ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦  Abraham here lies. Moses was a murderer. David was an adulterer and murder. Paul was a persecutor of Christians. Yet, Abram continued his struggle to be who God needed him to be. ◦ Eventually he got there. ◦ If you and I keep struggling, we can get there, too.
    • GENESIS 12:10-20
    •  This passage presents a big faith challenge for Abram. ◦ First, there is a famine in Canaan.  How will Abram and his family survive?  If God is going to give Abram this land, couldn’t He stop a famine from coming? ◦ Second, If Pharaoh takes Abram’s wife, what will Abram do?  How will he go on without his helpmate?  How will God give him the many nations he’s been promised?
    •  “Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there” (v 10). ◦ Notice that Abram did not simply go to Egypt to survive the famine-he went to dwell in Egypt.  “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” (NIV).  The point is that Abram’s faith is suffering a major lapse here.  He plans on staying in Egypt a while instead of journeying on to the land God would show him.  The Hebrew word is used elsewhere for stays of several years in duration and even permanent residences.
    •  Why is Abram’s “faith challenge” understandable? ◦ What are some comparable “faith challenges” in our lives? ◦ Obviously, Abram need have no fear--God would lead him to the Promised Land as promised.  How can we trust in God’s promises when we face “faith challenges”?  What are some of God’s promises in light of struggles?
    •  Should Abram have intended to stay for some time in Egypt? ◦ There seems nothing wrong in Abram’s seeking refuge in Egypt. ◦ The issue is that he apparently intended to remain in Egypt for many years.  Abram apparently made a quick transition from faith in God’s promises to doubt and fear. ◦ Is it not easy to move from faith to fear?
    •  Famine was quite common in Palestine. ◦ Rainfall in the southern part of Palestine is only 4-12 inches per year on average.  Abram has journeyed to “the South” (v 9).  The Hebrew is Negev, which means “dry.” ◦ Egypt, on the other hand, could count on the annual Nile floods to fertilize the land.  Thus, Egypt was noted in Scripture for its abundant food crops (Deut 11:10).  Egypt was often a place of refuge during periods of famine (e.g., Joseph and the Twelve Tribes).
    •  Abram is worried about Sarai’s beauty. ◦ Sarai is 65, and Abram considers her very beautiful. ◦ The Egyptians also find her very beautiful, and she was taken to Pharaoh’s house.  Abram’s proposal is to act as Sarai’s brother. ◦ The purpose seems to have been for Abram to intercept any marriage proposals. ◦ In the ANE, there was an institution called “fratriarchy” where a woman without a father was protected by her brother who negotiated marriage.
    •  Of course, Abram was Sarai’s brother. ◦ Gen 20:12. ◦ Since that’s the case, did Abram really lie?  What is a lie?  Why is lying wrong?  Jn 8:44.  Eph 4:25.  Rev 21:8.  Abram was simply protecting his life in this deceit. ◦ Is it wrong to lie to save our lives? ◦ Should we really die in order to keep from sinning?  Heb 12:3-4.
    •  Sarai was taken to Pharaoh’s house. ◦ Whether this was a voluntary taking or not, we simply do not know.  But, Abram’s options would have seemed limited since Pharaoh is the one doing the asking. ◦ We also do not know if there was a sexual relationship between Sarai and Pharaoh.  That seems to have been the point of Pharaoh’s taking Sarai.  God might have prevented that from occurring.  However, Sarai was undoubtedly in Pharaoh’s harem.
    •  Abram is treated very kindly by Pharaoh. ◦ He is given great livestock and servants. ◦ The gift of female donkeys and camels were particularly valuable.
    •  Just because Abram is rewarded by Pharaoh does not mean that God approved of his actions. ◦ The great livestock are going to cause problems with Lot. ◦ One of the female servants seems to be Hagar (she was an Egyptian, Gen 16:3).  Therefore, this one sin is going to cost Abram dearly (and it’s just a little “white lie”). ◦ One sin can change the course of your entire life (even after God has forgiven you). ◦ How careful do we need to be with sin?
    •  Once Sarai has been taken, “the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues.” ◦ This is the same Hebrew word used to describe the ten plagues God through Moses would later bring upon the Egyptians (Ex 11:1). ◦ This is also the term used to speak of skin diseases (Lev 13) such as leprosy (2 Ki 15:5).
    •  Pharaoh calls Abram & Pharaoh is concerned about the breach of morality, not Abram! ◦ Are there times that the world is more concerned with morality than we are? ◦ How do we remain concerned about morality and God’s standards?  Pharaoh cast Abram out of Egypt in much the same way God cast Adam and Eve out of the Garden.