DAY 89 - BIG PICTURE IN A YEAR - THE PROMISE
Now there was famine in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt....
Reading: Genesis 12:10-20, Romans 14:23
Judaism, Islam and Christianity all claim Abram as the central and most important figure in their religions. Yet the Bible openly reveals how flawed he was, even as God’s chosen man. This should be a great comfort to us.
In today’s reading, we find the story of when Abram took his family down to Egypt because there was a famine in their land. In this instance, he hadn’t heard from God to do this and he was, in fact, acting outside of God’s plan. Not only did the obstacle of the famine cause him to leave the land that God had promised him, but when he got to Egypt he behaved shamefully towards his wife, Sarai. He himself lied about her true identity, and caused her to sin by asking her to lie as well. Both of these acts of leaving the land, and lying about his wife, were acts of self-preservation that showed very little faith in God’s Promises. And they put Sarai in considerable danger.
Fear and self-preservation are major temptations in the lives of all of God’s chosen people. Just like Abram’s fear led him to sin against God, his wife and the Egyptian King, our fears and lack of faith can lead us further and further away from God’s plans for our lives. If we want to see the word of the Lord come to pass in our lives, we must overcome the obstacles that seek to divert us and grow in faith towards God.
One of the main obstacles that cause us to become afraid and take matters into our own hands is when there is delay on a word coming to pass. We don’t like delays, they shake us, and we often interpret them to mean that God has changed His mind. This causes us to step away from faith and get in to self-effort and striving. We ‘lend God a hand’, so to speak. This self-effort takes us out of a place of faith and trust, which in turn leads us into dead works. But just like in the story of Abram, we can be grateful that God is with us as His chosen ones. In His wise way, he untangles us from these cycles of dead works and ushers us back into a place of trust in His word.
Lord I repent of the feelings of disappointment and fear when it comes to the unfulfilled promises you have spoken over my life. Remind me not to give up every time I face a delay.
FOR THE FAMILY
Explain the study briefly in an age-appropriate way then discuss, in a real way, how fear and self-preservation can stop us from obeying God.
Encourage the kids to share real-life examples and pray for them to have the courage and wisdom to handle these situations.