Genesis 12:10-20 Abram Journeys to Egypt CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In this lesson, we see how:
- A famine drove Abram out of Canaan into Egypt;
- Abram lied out of fear to protect himself;
- The devil attempted to mess up the “seed;”
- God blessed Abram in spite of his sin;
- God plagued Pharaoh to protect Abram and Sarai;
- Pharaoh sent them away.
A Famine in Canaan
God used famines on occasion to move people. It was due to a famine that:
- Isaac went to Gerar (Gen. 26), where God promised that his seed would possess the land of the Philistines;
- Joseph’s brothers went to Egypt (Gen. 41), where they were reunited with their brother who had been promoted to the second ruler;
- Naomi and her family moved to Moab (Ruth 1), from which Ruth came to eventually marry into the line of Christ.
Abram’s Journey to Egypt
Egypt is a type of the world in the Bible, not a good place for God’s people to go. Abram was afraid to go down there for fear that the Egyptians would kill him to get his wife. He was probably right. Look at the negative references to Egypt.
- Murdered Jewish babies, Ex. 1:22;
- Enslaved Jewish men, Ex. 1:11-14;
- Practiced idolatry, Jos. 24:14;
- Attacked Judah after the kingdom split, 1 Ki. 14:25-26.
- Forbad Isaac to sojourn in Egypt, Gen. 26:3;
- Miraculously delivered the Jews from Egypt, Ex. 12:40-43;
- Forbad Jewish kings from going to Egypt to buy horses, Deut. 17:16;
- Prophesied, “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help,” Is. 31:1;
- Called Egypt “the iron furnace,” Deut. 4:20;
- Called Egypt “the house of bondage,” Ex. 13:3;
- Called His Son “Out of Egypt,” Matt. 2:15.
Abram’s Lie about Sarai
Men lie when they are afraid. Even this great man who “was strong in faith,” Rom. 4:20, lied about his relationship to Sarai to save his own neck. Actually, his lie was a half-truth. Sarai was indeed his sister, Gen. 20:12, but she was also his wife.
In Gen. 12:7, God promised Abram that he would have “seed” to inherit the land. And nothing, not even the trip to Egypt, was going to stop God from fulfilling that promise. Therefore, if Abram had trusted God to protect him, he had no reason to lie about Sarai, no matter how scared he was. Instead, he and Sarai decided to lie and Sarai ended up in Pharaoh’s house.
The Devil’s Attempt to Corrupt the “Seed”
By allowing Sarai to be taken into Pharaoh’s house, Sarai could have ended up married to Pharaoh (12:15,19). That would have annulled God’s promise to Abram, “Unto thy seed will I give this land.” The devil could have used that opportunity to mess up God’s promised seed.
God’s Blessings on Abram
Leave it to a Jew to prosper so abundantly during a famine and a scheme. God’s blessings are on the nation and they prosper even in the midst of affliction:
- Abram became rich in Egypt (12:16; 13:2). He probably acquired Hagar with the other maidservants while he was there;
- Isaac increased a hundredfold in one year while in Gerar (26:12);
- The children of Israel were fruitful, increased, multiplied, and became mighty while in captivity in Egypt (Ex. 1:7,12).
God’s Plagues on Pharaoh
God plagued Pharaoh to make him get rid of Sarai and to protect the seed (Mal. 2:15). Of course, the plagues foreshadowed the plagues that came when God used Moses to get the Jews out of Egypt.
The way Pharaoh and his men sent Abram away is a picture of the Exodus.