Romans 10:12-13 NAS95 (12) For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; (13) for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”
Abram swallowed the bittersweet message that the land God wanted to show him would be given to one of his children, when he had no children and Sarai was barren. He chose to believe God could do the impossible and built an altar to worship him.
Then for reasons unknown he traveled twenty miles to the mountains east of Bethel and pitched his tent between Bethel and Ai. There he built another altar to call on the name of the Lord. God had not only received Abram as his son before he left Ur; Abram’s actions prove he accepted the salvation God offered for whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Abram’s mustard seed of faith finally sprouted delicate roots, but spiritual maturity is a long slow process. At this point in Abram’s faith walk, it’s not likely he understood the extent of God’s plan that spans generations. When God told Abram that he would give the land to his seed, he was talking about the day one of Abram’s virgin daughters would give birth to the Son of God, the second Adam. A man who had no earthly father, just like the first Adam. God planned to give the land to his son, and his son will rule with true justice and equality over all nations on the earth. But Abram does not know that yet, which explains what he did next.
With nothing more than promises that appeared impossible for God to fulfill, he became restless. He left the altar where he called on the name of the Lord and traveled south.
Waiting is hard. Especially when you are not fully persuaded your expectations will be fulfilled.
Hebrews 2:1 NAS95 For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.
Abram needed a miracle for his wife to give birth, and if that miracle happened, he will have to wait until the child grows up to take possession of the land. Nothing is going to happen soon, so he stopped paying attention to the gospel God preached to him and drifted away from the altar he built to call upon the name of the Lord.
He had wandered in the Negev Desert for over a year when a severe famine gripped the region. If he stayed in Canaan, he might die of starvation. Egypt had food, but his wife’s beauty presented a problem. He feared the Egyptians would kill him, so they could take her.
Abram is living in fear. He feared death if he stayed in Canaan, but he also feared death if he went to Egypt. Abram knew God wanted him to live in Canaan but decided Egypt and his own wisdom offered his best chance for survival.
Before they crossed the border into Egypt Abram devised a plan to save himself from death.
Genesis 12:11-13 NAS95 (11) It came about when he came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; (12) and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. (13) “Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you.”
Abram is not worried about anybody but himself. He wants things to go well for “me”. What about things going well for Sarai?
There is a reason God told Abram his seed will get the land. The seed on God’s mind will die, so things can go well for Abram and the people of all nations. Abram is not willing to die for his own wife who he loves. Abram is not worthy to be the SEED, but he does not know that yet.
If Abram believed God told him the truth, there would have been no reason to enter Egypt trusting a lie to keep him safe. Abram will try to justify himself. Sarai and Abram shared a father but not their mother. She was his half-sister. But did he think telling the truth with the intent to deceive absolved him from being a liar.
Abram is a liar that will manipulate people he loves to protect himself from harm. Abram is also the father of our faith, the one and only faith that pleases God. His reliance on a human wisdom instead of God’s wisdom set in motion a series of unfortunate events that brought God’s judgment upon the nation Abram became through his sons Isaac and Jacob. But not upon the nation Abram will become through his granddaughter Mary.