The Lord said to Abram,
after Lot had separated from him,
“Now lift up your eyes
and look from the place where you are, northward and southward
and eastward and westward;
for all the land which you see,
I will give it to you
and to your descendants forever.”
Genesis 13:1415
Abram was seventy-five years old when he and Sarai and Lot set out from Haran and went toward the land of Canaan. There was a famine in the land of Canaan, and so Abram set out for Egypt. On the way, Abram looked at Sarai, his at-least-sixty-five-year-old wife, and instructed her to tell everyone that she was his sister and not his wife; of course, we discover in Genesis 20:12 that she actually was his half sister.
Today this conversation would go more like, “Sarai, it’s really not a lie; technically you are my sister.” Even a “half-lie” is a lie and brings consequences in its telling. Abram feared that his wife’s beauty would lead to his death, so that Pharoah would be able to claim Sarai as his own.
Sarai obeyed, and Pharoah took her in as his bride.
Let’s just stop and pause here for a moment in our day of plastic surgery and Botox and rest in the fact that this sixty-five-year-old woman, plastic-surgery free, was desired by the greatest ruler of that day. Ladies, let us wake up and remember that true beauty comes from the inside out: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).
God, of course, was not going to allow this lie to go far because it was through Sarai that Abram was to have Isaac, the one through whom the promised seed of redemption would carry. God sent plagues, and Pharoah released Sarai, and Abram knew that he had disobeyed God and acted out of fear. But Abram didn’t run from God; he ran to Him.
In Genesis 13:4 we read that Abram went to “the place of the altar which he had made there formerly; and there Abram called on the name of the Lord.” Abram went back to the altar he had built when he last called on the name of the Lord. There he sought forgiveness and direction.
Throughout their journeys, both Abram and Lot had increased in livestock and servants, and the time came for them to separate. Abram gave Lot the first choice and decided that he would take whatever was left. Abram had just experienced the sovereignty and provision of his God, so his faith had grown to know that God would give him all he needed, whatever the place might be.
Lot chose and headed off toward Sodom, and then God finally showed Abram the land that was to be his and his descendants’ forever. God waited until Lot was out of the picture before He revealed more of His promise to Abram.
In this revealing, He once again reminded Abram that he would have descendants; he would have a child. God also added the promise of forever. This land that God was giving to Abram would be his and his descendants’ forever.
Oh Father,
How many times have I made bad choices out of fear? Rash decisions usually come with serious consequences. How thankful I am that You love me unconditionally. How thankful I am that You are able to take my mistakes and turn them into something useful for Your glory. Oh Father, when I fail, when I am afraid, when I feel abandoned and alone, may I always run to You and not away from You. Father, when times come that lead to a separation from family and friends, may I be able to trust in Your sovereignty and know that You are in control. I see in Your Word that sometimes we have to be separated in order for You to bless us and bring us into spiritual maturity. However, we are never separated alone; we are separated unto You, and You are all we will ever need.
My Jesus, I love You, and it is in Your name that I pray,