An article at Bible.org by Bob Deffinbaugh gave me my first insights into the presence of Jesus in this story of Abram and the lies he told concerning his wife Sarai. Abram was afraid, he feared the future, even though he had been promised a blessing from God. Abram feared death; he feared the loss of his wife; he feared hunger in the Promised Land. Abram was fearful of many things even though he had been assured of God’s divine concern for his future.
Abram is like every Christian I know. We all have fears, however rational or irrational, that cause us to make decision and act unilaterally, apart from God’s promises. We live situationally, and determine the course of our actions based on what works in our world instead of based upon God’s word. Such was Abram’s course of action when he told his wife to say she was only his sister (Genesis 12:13). The result: Pharaoh snatched up the beautiful woman for his harem (Genesis 12:15); and some of Abram’s fears came to pass. Abram failed to trust God’s promise that those who bless you will be blessed and those who curse you will be cursed, but his lack of faith did not nullify God’s faithfulness as Romans 3:3-4 loudly proclaims,
What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness?4 Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: “So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.
God intervened literally by cursing the household of Pharaoh and returning Abram’s wife to him. Such is the faithfulness of our God to the promises he as made to his people. In Jesus we are promised eternal life, freedom from the reign of sin, a life of fullness, the ability to love, spiritual gifts and a heart of flesh. We are promised trials and the ability to persevere through them. But ultimately, we are promised a world where nothing will hinder our access to God and sin will be totally erradicated. Many struggle to believe these promises, but the story of Abram serves to remind us that
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 2Cor. 1:20