Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Wednesday after the First Sunday after the Epiphany of our Lord

Posted on January 16, 2019 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Genesis 12:1-20 (NKJV)
12:1 Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.
2 “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
4 So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan.
6 Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land. 7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.
8 And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.
9 So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.
10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance. 12 Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.”
14 So it was, when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful. 15 The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s house. 16 He treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys, and camels.
17 But the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’? I might have taken her as my wife. Now therefore, here is your wife; take her and go your way.” 20 So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had.
“And Pharaoh called Abram and said, ‘What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?'”
Our Lord called Abram (later “Abraham,” meaning “father of many nations”) to follow Him. He promised him land, numerous descendants, and a great name. Most importantly, the Lord promised that through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed. He would be the father of the nation through which the Savior of the world would come, Christ Jesus our Lord.
Abraham is rightly called a great man of faith, and rightly so. When the Lord told him to leave his homeland and go to a new place, he did it! But Abraham also had profound failings. In this case, he feared that the Egyptians would kill him because they wanted his beautiful wife. Instead of trusting in the Lord to protect him, he told her to lie and say she was his sister. Pharaoh took her, the Lord cursed Pharaoh’s house, and Pharaoh was justly angry at Abram.
Pharaoh returned his untouched wife, of course. Abraham was in the wrong, yet God protected him and his wife anyway, by grace. Even more importantly, He had His use of Abraham, again by grace, to bring about the coming of Christ, the Savior of the many nations.
We pray: O God, as You graciously had Your use of Abraham despite his failings, I pray forgive me of my many sins for the sake of Christ Jesus, and have Your use of me also. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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