Genesis 12: 4-10: Detour

“4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.  Abram travelled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your offspring I will give this land.’ So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.  From there he went on towards the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.  Then Abram set out and continued towards the Negev.  10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe.” NIV

When Abram was at his best the ‘’tent’’ and the ‘’altar’’ featured significantly in his life. The former symbolised his life as a pilgrim, ready to move at God’s direction. The latter spoke of his life of worship and prayer. Abram, at his best, walked with God and moved in the will of God. But there is no record that God told him to go to Egypt. In the Bible, people go ‘up’ to Jerusalem, but ‘down’ to Egypt. Egypt symbolises the world system. We won’t find our answers there.

As we saw yesterday, there was a severe famine in the land God had told Abram to head for. Someone has pointed out that trials not only verify faith; they also purify it. Faith cannot grow if it does not have examinations to pass in life’s school. But Abram fell at this hurdle. It seems he just made up his own mind to go and live in Egypt for a time. He did not consult the Lord. A price was paid.

I like Warren Wiersbe’s comment that faith involves ‘living without scheming.’ Now there’s a thought to carry into the day.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to acknowledge you in all my ways that you may direct my paths.