17 But the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’? I might have taken her as my wife. Now therefore, here is your wife; take her and go your way.” 20 So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had.
Genesis 12:17-20, NKJV
Abram had really made a mess of things. Yet God, who never left Abram, intervened on his behalf. You will remember from our previous devotion that there was a severe famine in the land of Canaan. Abram moved his family to Egypt to escape the famine. However, knowing how beautiful his wife Sarai was, he asked her to tell the men of Egypt that she was Abram's sister. It was not exactly a lie, for Sarai was actually Abram's half-sister, but she was also his wife.
Abram's worst fears were realized when Pharaoh, hearing of Sarai's great beauty, took her into his house to be a part of his harem--perhaps even intending to make her his wife.
Now, what was Abram to do? It is true, his life was spared and Pharaoh gave him many gifts for Sarai, but was he really any better off? Can you not see the hand of Satan in all of this? We know, from reading the rest of the Bible, that Christ would be descended from Abram and Sarai. Yet God is not to be circumvented from his plans by the acts of mere men or even Satan.
We find in the verses shown above that God intervened. But the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. Pharoah could have responded in many ways. However, the plague that God sent was so severe that Pharaoh could not get rid of Abram and Sarai quickly enough! So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had.
What a great lesson for us today in this, the 21st century. Does God intervene on our behalf as well? Yes, He does. Does that mean that we can act any way in which we please because God will accomplish His will in spite of our behavior? No!
While it is true that God is truly sovereign, yet we suffer many difficulties due to our own personal sin. We will never circumvent God's holy will, but we will suffer from our disobedience and lack of faith.
However, God is not a God who is just waiting in heaven for us to make a mistake so that He can zap us for our sins. God is a great God of love and compassion. First of all, He loved us before we ever loved Him. 1 John 4:19 reminds us, "We love Him because He first loved us." Second, we know that God is long-suffering and patient--He is ever guiding and directing us so that we may become more and more like Him.
Just as we see God gently guiding Abram and Sarai in the way they should go and heaping great blessings upon them, in spite of their lack of faith, so will God gently lead and guide us as well.
Let us go this day in the strength and power of the Lord praying that He will keep us ever faithful to Him.
God Bless You,