Have you ever had one of those moments where you KNOW what God is telling you to do, or at least what He expects of you, you KNOW He is with you & can help you endure, but you just choose your own way anyway?
Yeah…me, too. I call these “Abram moments.”
I call them that because if you flip to Genesis to read about Abram (soon to be renamed Abraham), starting in chapter 12 he begins to have quite a few of these moments. At the very beginning of Genesis 12 God calls Abram to leave his family. He doesn’t tell him where he’ll end up, just that He’ll show him where to go! He tells Abram that he will make him into a great nation, they will live in the land that God shows him, that God will bless those who bless Abram & his family, & that He will curse those who treat them poorly. All of these callings require faith, trust, & obedience from Abram…yet just 10 verses later comes the first recorded “Abram moment.”
“When he [Abram] was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife, Sarai, ‘Look, I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ They will kill me but let you live. Please say you’re my sister so it will go well for me because of you, & my life will be spared on your account.’ When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. Pharaoh’s officials saw her & praised her to Pharaoh, so the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s household. He treated Abram well because of her, & Abram acquired flocks & herds, male & female donkeys, male & female slaves, & camels. But the Lord struck Pharaoh & his household with severe plagues because of Abram’s wife, Sarai. So Pharaoh sent for Abram & said, ‘What have you done to me? Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She’s my sister,’ so that I took her as my wife? Now, here is your wife. Take her & go!’ Then Pharaoh gave his men orders about him, & they sent him away with his wife & all he had.” – Genesis 12:10-20
Honestly, this whole story is just completely jacked. Abram enters a new country & out of fear- that he’ll be murdered because his wife is so gorgeous that surely the Pharaoh will want her for himself- he just straight up asks her to lie about who she is, he lies about who she is, & he WILLINGLY gives his wife over to Pharaoh to spare his own life (he does all that when he wasn’t even in any danger that he ACTUALLY knew of!!)…bless’im.
And yes, this is a perfect example of the ugly truth of humanity in the Bible- God’s Word displays just how ugly the heart of humanity can be & how beautiful His heart is for saving us despite us. But…back to the story…
So, in all that, even though Abram KNOWS God has already said He will make them a great nation, bless those who bless them, & punish those who don’t…all of this reflects that God is going to both provide for & protect Abram & his family. But Abram doubts. And don’t get me wrong, doubt is not a sin– we all do it, but if we’re not careful it can lead us to sin. What matters is that it doesn’t influence us to move further away from Christ rather than drawing more near. Despite everything God has already promised & done for Abram, he doubts & he chooses his own way. He chooses to move away from God, he lies, & he sins. And here’s the thing about sin- it never JUST impacts one person. His sin, his doubt & lying doesn’t just impact himself, it impacts his wife, the Pharaoh & his family, & it could have been the beginning of negative relations between the Egyptians & the Hebrews. Abram’s actions push Sarai to sin also. She becomes complicit in his lie & her reputation could have been ruined. Scripture doesn’t say that Pharaoh ever actually had relations with her, but he could have, & even if he didn’t, others could have believed he had & her honor been tarnished. Abram’s sin misleads Pharaoh to believe it was okay to take Sarai as a wife, but through God’s sovereign protection & revelation, He reveals to Pharaoh that Sarai is actually Abram’s wife & brings plagues on him & his family until he returns her to her husband. And lastly, we can’t say for certain, but it could have been the beginnings of bad blood between the Hebrews & Egyptians. I certainly can imagine Pharaoh & his family wouldn’t have been too pleased they received plagues because of Abram’s choices…& Abram’s new reputation may have been passed on to future generations- to be wary of that Abram dude.
Abram goes on to have more than one “Abram moment.” He has a big one when he ends up impregnating his wife’s Egyptian slave, Hagar, which still has religious, political, & cultural repercussions to this day in the Middle East & the world.
So, what is your “Abram moment”? What area of doubt are you struggling with? Even if you aren’t facing an Abram moment right now there’s a good chance you will in the future, especially as we head into a year full of economic uncertainty. In the face of that doubt & potential “Abram moment” I challenge you to choose NOT to be like Abram. Look at his example & where it got him. Dig into God’s Word & the promises He has made to you, get on your knees in prayer over the doubt, anxiety, worry, & fear you’re facing, find an accountability partner you can trust & turn to when the time comes, & then choose to follow God’s direction instead of your own. Doing these things doesn’t mean everything will get easier or that you’ll get everything you want, but you will see how God provides your needs, He will walk with you, bring peace, He may bring people into your life to walk alongside you through the difficulty, & as long as you keep clinging to Him, your actions will bring glory to Him, honor to you, & will be an example for others & future generations. Take your “Abram moment” & turn it into a God moment that brings Him glory & you in closer step with your Creator.
I have my own “Abram moments” that I can look back on…I see God’s promises to me when I first felt the doubt, but sadly I chose my own way instead of His. When I look at where God has brought me now, I am so incredibly humbled & so in awe of who He is & just how much He loves me & you. While He has taught me so much through my “Abram moments” I still wish I could go back to tell the 25-year-old version of myself to just hold on, to cling to Christ instead of my own ways & understandings, that I will wholeheartedly regret following my own desires. I may have made “Abram moments” in the past & I’m sure I will make more in the future, but I long to grow closer to Christ so that the distance & time between “Abram moments” grows longer & further apart.
So, in the face of your “Abram moment,” look to Christ & God’s Word. He will be with you & He will guide you. Here are some verses that may help in those moments.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know Him, & He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God- who gives to all generously & ungrudgingly- & it will be given to him.” – James 1:5
Be blessed, friends.