July 07, 2023

Embarrassed and Disgraced

Genesis 12:10-20

“What have you done to me?” [Pharaoh] said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife?”

—  Genesis 12:18-19

When a famine came to the land of Canaan, Abraham left the land God had promised him and went to Egypt. Didn’t Abraham trust God enough to provide for him?

Then, in Egypt, as we can see, Abraham depended more on his wits than on God. Fearing that his wife’s beauty would create a problem, Abraham lied, saying that Sarai was his sister. Rather than trusting in God’s protection, Abraham did what many of us do. He gave in to his fears and went into self-protection mode.

The result of Abraham’s schem­ing is that Sarai is taken into Pharaoh’s harem, and then Pharaoh and his household get sick. Eventually discovering the truth, Pharaoh confronts Abraham. There is more than a bit of irony in this scene—a ruler who worships other gods ­reprimands a God-fearing believer for not doing the right thing.

God’s rebuke of Abraham comes through the words of Pharaoh. We can be sure that Abraham felt the sting of humilia­tion for his faithless acts. The point is that God can use all kinds of means to get his message across to his people who stray from his calling.

Have you ever been rebuked in such a way for stumbling in your walk of faith? It’s embarrassing and humiliating. But God’s grace overrides his people’s failures. In his grace, God is willing to forgive, restore, and redirect our steps back to his way of right living.

Lord, when we fail, give us more grace. Though we can step out of your will, it’s good to know that we never step out of your care. Amen.

About the author — Dan Jongsma

Daniel Jongsma serves as an interim pastor in Fulton, Illinois. He has pastored congregations in Elmhurst and Fulton, Illinois; in Dearborn, Michigan; and in Nashville, Tennessee. Dan also served as a church planter in the Chicago area. He and his wife, Gloria, have three daughters and four grandchildren.

Start Your Day With Quick Daily Devotions

See God's love and power, his presence and purpose in your life everyday