You could probably call my husband and I nomads. So far, we have moved a total of fifteen times. Our moves mostly have been job related. We have moved within the same city, another city more than fifty miles away, and out-of-state. The hardest moves have been those that were out-of-state.
Of course, the hardest thing about moving out-of-state is that you are a total stranger to a new place. You need to decide where to live in a place you know little or nothing about. You are unfamiliar with the local roads, food, sports teams and perhaps even need to get used to a new dialect or accent. You will need to make new friends and find new doctors, dentists, schools and a church. It is a difficult transition.
Being a stranger in a new place was not an unfamiliar concept for Abram and Sarai. They moved around many times. However, they had settled nicely in Canaan and enjoyed living there on the land God promised them until famine came. Then they had to move to Egypt to find food.
As they neared their destination, Abram was worried about the Egyptians killing him because of Sarai. She was still a beautiful woman and if they knew Abram was her husband, they might kill him and take her. He told her to say she was his sister so that his life would be spared. Sure enough, she caught Pharaoh’s eye, and he gave Abram many extravagant gifts for her.
Remember that God promised to look out for Abram. But Abram instead of relying on God to protect them, took matters into his own hands by lying about Sarai. Not only did this cause Pharaoh to be in a position to commit adultery, but it ended Sarai’s and Abram’s marriage. If they were not married to one another, it blocked the promise of descendants via Abram and Sarai as God had promised.
God caused plagues to fall on Pharaoh’s household. Pharaoh knew the Lord sent those plagues and called for Abram. He asked Abram why he lied about Sarai? Pharaoh could have had them both killed for their treachery. Instead he ordered him to take Sarai and leave the country and gave him an escort out of Egypt. Abram was permitted to keep the gifts he’d been given for her. These gifts added to the wealth Abram already had.
At first, I thought it was weird that God would reward Abram for not relying on Him by giving him more wealth. But I think God wanted Abram to know without a doubt that He had intervened, and His plan was in place no matter how Abram tried to mess it up by not trusting and seeking the Lord’s guidance.
When I read this story, I am reminded that God has a plan for us. No matter what we do, His plan is THE plan and cannot be changed. It comforts me to know no matter what I do, I cannot change or screw up God’s plan for me. He gives me freewill, and I always have the choice to rely myself or on Him in all my decisions. All I need to do to make the right choices is know Him by reading my Bible and spending time in prayer. The closer I am to Him the easier it is to get with His plan.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11