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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Becoming Truly Human – Norma Prescott Preaching

Abram and SaraiGenesis 12.10 – 20

Sarai is a beautiful woman. She’s so beautiful that Abram fears for his life when they go to Egypt to escape a famine (which, for the same reason, his descendants will do in a few generations). Sarai is Abram’s half-sister so one might say technically he wasn’t actually lying when he told Pharaoh she was his sister. But a lie is something told with the intent to deceive. The result of Abram’s lie is that Sarai is taken into Pharaoh’s palace, specifically his harem. A harem housed concubines, wives and female relatives. Abram is enriched in the deal but what about Sarai? There was a real danger Sarai would become a concubine or perhaps even a wife. We read of no pang of conscience on Abram’s part. In fact, it is only God’s intervention that delivers Sarai from her fate. It is God who keeps Sarai from becoming a concubine. Note here that God speaks to Pharaoh, not Abram. For Abram, Sarai is a means to an end. She may have saved Abram’s life but she is treated as though she is little more than chattel that Abram can use to bargain with. Her rights as a human being are ignored; but this was not unusual in Abram’s time or, unfortunately, today.

God elevates Sarai in spite of Abram’s behavior. He not only rescues her from Pharaoh’s harem, God makes Sarai a participant in God’s covenant with Abram. The child that will fulfill the promise that all families on earth will be blessed through Abram is Sarai’s child not Hagar’s (Genesis 12.1 – 9; chapter 15).

Thank you, heavenly Father, for rescuing us when we have no power to do so on our own. Thank you for your ultimate rescue through our Lord Jesus Christ, who rescued us when we “were dead through the trespasses and sins, in which we once lived” (Ephesians 2.1). Thank you for your indescribable gift (2 Corinthians 9.15). In Jesus’ name, Amen.