July 06, 2023

In and Out of Egypt

Genesis 12:10

There was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while. . . .

—  Genesis 12:10

Earlier in Genesis 12 we saw how Abraham obeyed God’s call, setting out on a long journey that brought him to the land of Canaan. Then he ­traveled throughout the land, stopping here and there to build an altar to worship the Lord. Now we have learned that a famine struck the land, so Abraham went to Egypt and lived there for a while.

We can experience downturns and crisis situations too. We take God at his word and step out in faith. But then our hopes and plans might be dashed by a significant loss. A job opportunity can fall through, a marriage can fail, a ministry can falter. We can face a financial or physical health crisis. Though we might be obediently following God, it can seem as if our whole world is turning upside down.

The famine Abraham experienced was likely a test of his faith. But instead of trusting in God, who had brought him safely to Canaan, Abraham fled to Egypt. And that decision soon cost him dearly.

Just because we follow God’s call in our lives, that doesn’t mean things will always go smoothly. God often allows trouble to come our way in order to stretch and strengthen our faith. Rather than second-guessing God or our decision to follow him, we need to hold on to the Lord in faith, believing that where God guides, he also provides.

Lord God, forgive us when our faith wavers amid the trials of life. We believe you are mighty to save. Help us to hold on to you in times of doubt and trouble. 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.

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