August 08, 2006

Fear Takes Hold

Genesis 12:10-13

"Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well ... and my life will be spared ..." Genesis 12:13


Sarai was a beautiful woman, and Abram noticed how some men looked at her, probably wondering how she could be married to a man like him. So when a famine forced Abram and Sarai to go to Egypt for a while, Abram took matters into his own hands, despite God's promise of protection. Afraid to trust God completely, Abram had a conversation of conspiracy with Sarai, and they hatched a plan.

Why do we sometimes think and talk a lot like Abram does in our reading for today? Let's look at the two reasons he gives as he tells Sarai to pretend to be his sister and not his wife.

First, Abram knows that his wife's beauty can be a key to receiving favors the Egyptians might offer. When people looked at Sarai, Abram would receive some "reflected" glory--or at least some preferential treatment. Second, Abram is fearful. He doesn't want to become Sarai's suddenly deceased husband. Out of fear for his own life, Abram chooses to try to control the situation by his own scheming.

Abram is a lot like us. Sometimes we think and talk the way he does here because we want to work things to our advantage, even if it means using others, or because we fear what might happen. As Abram soon learns, that way of operating is no match for the plans of God.

God of truth and grace, forgive us for our deceptions. Turn our hearts, thoughts, and words to you so that we may reflect your truth, grace, and love. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!