Don’t settle in Egypt (Part 1)
“Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels. But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife. So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.” And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.”-Genesis 12:10-20
Abraham knew what it was to hear God’s voice and he also knew what it was to suffer God’s silence. He knew what it was to live comfortably in Ur and Haran, yet he also knew what it was like to wander in the dryness of the desert. However, you spend long enough in the desert, you can begin to believe that the grass is greener other places. You can begin to rely on your own ingenuity. You can get your focus off of God and onto your circumstances. Because of this, we can end up in places that God never intended for us to live:
“Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land." -Genesis 12:10
Egypt seems to be a popular respite, for those who are experiencing hardship. Abraham fled there when the famine became too severe, Isaac would escape there later when famine arose again, and later yet Joseph would save Israel from famine by bringing Jacob to Goshen in Egypt. Even Jesus would find safety there, as a baby, when Joseph and Mary were forced to flee Bethlehem because of Herod.
But why Egypt? What was the allure of this place? There are likely numerous reasons:
1. Proximity: It was close. How often have you decided to eat somewhere or shop somewhere, not because it was what you wanted, but because it was close?
2. Resources: The Nile and Delta may have provided resources that were lacking in Caanan- water, crops, grazing lands.
3. Familiarity: Sojourners, likely, often caravanned to Egypt to trade commodities. There may have been some familiarity with them that made these men more comfortable there compared to traveling to an unfamiliar place.
Whatever the reason for choosing Egypt, it is clear that God, however, never intended it to become their home. It wasn’t the promised land. Even if it did look more promising than the actual promise looked at the moment.
Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church