Abram’s Restoration

Genesis 12:11-13:211And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: 12Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. 13Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee. 14And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. 15The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. 16And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels. 17And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife. 18And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? 19Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way. 20And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had. 1And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. 2And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. (Genesis 12:11‑13:2)
When Abram was about to enter Egypt, he told his wife to say that she was his sister. Why did he not want to tell that she was his wife? It was because he was afraid they would kill him if he acknowledged it. He had the fear of man instead of the fear of God before him. Egypt would not want him if he acknowledged his proper relationship to Sarai, nor will the world want the Christian who admits that he belongs to Christ, and speaks about Him and His love.
However God had His eye on Abram, and intervened to bring about his restoration. Very often when we go into the world, we bring trouble upon them as well as upon ourselves. When Jonah fled from the presence of the Lord, the Lord sent a terrible storm on the sea, and all the men in the ship with him were in trouble as well as Jonah. Here in our chapter, too, God plagued the house of Pharaoh for taking Abram’s wife. When you try to go on with the world, you only spoil their pleasure, and make yourself unhappy, too, because your conscience will condemn you. You will always be miserable in such a path, for the things of God cannot mix with the things of the world.
Dishonor to His Name
Finally Pharaoh found out that Abram had told him a lie and that Sarai was his wife. He called for him and rebuked him for it. It is a bad thing when the world has to rebuke us because we do not act like the children of God. It is very dishonoring to the Lord and must have been a humbling experience for Abram.
A young man once took his friend to a place of pleasure, where he knew he should not go as a Christian. When there, he began to speak to her about the way of salvation. She immediately turned to him and asked, “Are you a Christian?” “Yes” he replied. “Well” she said, “then what are you doing here?” When we confess Christ, we always find the right kind of company, but it is always best to confess His name first, instead of going places where we should not be as God’s chil­dren, thereby bringing dishonor on His name.
Back to Canaan
Abram soon found that his place was in Canaan, and he “went up out of Egypt.” Lot, too, came up with him, but he was apparently just following Abram and not walking in his own faith. Are you following other Christians, or are you following the Lord? Is He really the Object before your soul? Others may fail in the path as Abram did, but He never changes. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:88Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8)).
There was no real progress of soul as long as Abram was in Egypt, though he became very rich “in cattle, in silver, and in gold.” Such things as these had not attracted his heart while in Canaan, for there he had his tent and his altar and, above all, the Lord’s presence and blessing. The Lord had not appeared to him while in Egypt. There are two kinds of riches spoken of in the Word of God. In Canaan, Abram was “rich in faith.” He had “the true riches” (Luke 16:1111If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? (Luke 16:11)), and “he looked for a city which hath founda­tions, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:1010For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrews 11:10)). In Egypt, he had acquired what God calls “un­certain riches” (1 Timothy 6:17). Which of the two are you seeking? Only “the true riches” will abide; the other soon passes away.
Further Meditation
1. Why did Pharaoh rebuke Abram?
2. What are some of the riches that Ephesians 1 describes which have been given to the Christian? What makes these “certain” riches? What makes what the world offers “uncertain” riches?
3. Though it’s a pretty long book, Unsearchable Riches by E. Dennett is well worth reading. It presents the Lord Jesus Christ in many of His different characters such as Saviour, Advocate and Example. You’ll get one long feast for your soul in meditating on the Person it presents.