FAILING THE TEST
"Now there was a famine in the land; so Abram [Abraham] went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land."
The man known as Abraham is an extremely important figure in history. Christians, Jews, and Muslims all declare Abraham to be their patriarch of patriarchs. Abraham's claim to fame was his faith. The Bible calls him "the father of all who believe" (Romans 4:11).
Abraham's faith was so great that he uprooted his life when in his 70s, left his homeland, and journeyed hundreds of miles to go to a place that God would show him. His faith was so great he believed God would give him a son from the womb of his aged, barren wife Sarah (see Romans 4:18-21). His faith was so great he was willing to obey God and offer Isaac as a sacrifice, believing that God would raise him from the dead (see Hebrews 11:17-19).
But his great faith wasn't perfect. In fact, he often failed in his faith. His failures, while not good, are used for good as they encourage us when we fail in our faith.
ABRAHAM'S BIG FAILURE
His first big failure is found in Genesis 12. He is in the land God showed him, the Promised Land, the land flowing with milk and honey. It's all good ... until there is a famine in the land. Abraham responded to the famine by heading to Egypt---the place of future bondage. In Egypt, he conspired with his wife to lie to Pharaoh and say she was his sister, not his wife. He was afraid if Pharaoh knew beautiful Sarai (Sarah) was his wife, Pharaoh would kill Abraham and add Sarah to his harem. So, to save his skin, he was willing to prostitute his wife. UGH!
Did you know the famine in Genesis 12:10 was simply a test? It was a test Abraham failed miserably. Going down to Egypt was not God's plan for Abraham. All the time he was in Egypt, he was out of the will of God. He wasn't a witness in Egypt; he was a reproach to Pharaoh and his people. He had to leave that place, return to the Promised Land, and get things right with God so he could move forward in his faith. Thankfully, he did just that!
"So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev .... as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place of the altar which he had made there formerly; and there Abram called on the name of the LORD." (Genesis 13:1, 3-4)
YOUR BIG FAILURE?
Can you relate to Abraham's failure? Has there been a "famine test" in some area of your life that you have handled fearfully not faithfully? Have you blown it big time and find yourself lying and scheming down in Egypt, far from God's will?
What are we to do when we fail the test? We are to do what Abraham did in Genesis 13 - leave Egypt and go back to Bethel (that word literally means house of God). Confess your sins to God and call upon His name. He will forgive you, no matter how badly you have failed. The Lord was not through with Abraham ... and He is not through with you, either!
Remember, your failure does not have to be final. The Lord says to us, "Return to Me, and I will return to you" (Malachi 3:7). Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.