Day 46: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 46: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

Our devotional subject, is the iconic leader, Abram.  In Genesis 12, the Lord directed him to go on a journey: “Go from your country…to the land that I will show you. (12:1).  When he arrived, the Lord showed up in person: Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” (12:7).  This was Canaan, the Promised Land.  Abram’s response to his one-on-one, with the Lord? He built an altar (12:7).  This was a reverent demonstration of worship to the Lord.

Abram’s spiritual growth was quick and fruitful.  He was bold and public with his faith. He was experiencing dynamic spiritual life, and people were paying attention.  Then… there was a famine in the land. (12:10).  Here’s the opportunity for Abram to trust the Lord in challenging circumstances.  Remember, the Lord has promised to bless him: I will bless you…( 12:2).  Let’s see if Abram’s faith has real staying power.

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.  (12:10).  Abram leaves the land of promise, the land of blessing, and heads to…Egypt.  The Israelites, former Egyptian slaves, reading this account of Abram heading off to Egypt had to be disappointed.  They experienced the treachery and barbarity of the Egyptians, they knew Abram was making a grave mistake. All this was ancient history to the Israelites of the Exodus.

But heading off to Egypt was just the beginning of Abram’s face-plant.  First, he doubted the Lord’s ability to help him in a famine.  Abram did not call out to the Lord for guidance, or wisdom – he made an executive decision, without the wise counsel of God.

Well, in order to succeed in his new travels, he sensed the need to be deceptive: Abram took his wife Sarai aside, explaining that since she was beautiful, the Egyptians would kill him, and take her.  Abram’s plan: 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.” (12:13).  Abram was not an honorable man, putting his wife at risk.  What happened to his trust in the Lord who said: I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse (12:3)?  Goodness, doubt and deception become his strategy for survival, not faith in God! Sarai’s honor is sacrificed for his well-being!  Who would want to follow him, as a leader?  He’s conniving and fearful, the opposite of what he showed earlier.  He’s making the Lord look bad, in choosing him!

Abram was right about the Egyptian’s reputation: When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. (12:14).  Sarai had Hollywood good looks, and the elite noticed, even notifying the Pharaoh: And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh.  (12:15).  Abram’s deceit would have consequences.

And the woman [Sarai] was taken into Pharaoh’s house. (12:15). According to Egyptian theology, Pharaoh was the physical manifestation of god on earth. He was not just an average ruler, in the world.  He was a god.  Did Abram intercede to protect his wife?  Was he willing to fight and die for her reputation, for her purity?  What about Jehovah’s plans for Sarai to have future sons for the promised blessing, making Abram a great nation?   Mankind’s future was sacrificed by Abram, so he, personally was not at risk.

Abram’s doubt of the Lord’s protection, then his deception threatened the Lord’s plans!  Your future was put at risk, at this time – do you understand this?

And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels. (12:16).  Pharaoh lavished Abram with wealth…and Abram took it.  Prosperity trumped purity.  Will the Lord just sit idly by, while his plan of blessing mankind was in danger? Nope. The Lord acted swiftly and firmly.  He moved in to protect Sarai, just as he promised, while Abram watched.

But the LORD afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. (12:17).  Kaboom!  Pharaoh was the Lord’s target.  Pharaoh, the man who posed as a man/god got a lesson about sovereignty.  Jehovah’s in charge – not Pharaoh.  The Jewish readers, the survivors of Exodus, read this account, having lived through similar plagues by the Lord on Egypt.  Their experience was very similar. Read Exodus 7 – 12, about ten plagues, launched on Egypt by the Lord, at the time of Moses.

The plagues in Genesis 12:17 were ‘great’ meaning magnitude and extent.  Moses did not write what the plagues were, only they were hammering and flattening.  But Pharaoh knew that the real God was doing them, and he — a pretend god, could not stop them.  Pharaoh though was angry, not at the Lord, but at the deceiver – Abram. 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? (12:18).  Pharaoh asked why the man of God was deceptive: 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.” (12:19).

Somehow the truth came to Pharaoh, and it was not by the lips of Abram.  Was Pharaoh interested in the testimony of Abram and his great God?  Hardly!  Abram’s behavior was so reprehensible, and Egypt’s suffering so acute, they wanted nothing to do with him or with Jehovah. And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had. (12:20).  Abram, and the Lord were booted out of Egypt.

This was not an auspicious start for Abram, the Lord’s man to bless all people: in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (12:3).  Abrams doubt, deception, were not worthy of the Lord’s reputation.  Abram pursued protection and possessions.  Imagine how history could have been changed, if Abram & Sara had managed their lives with faith, rather than self-focus.  Egypt could have received blessing instead of judgment. But the Lord was not done.  He would shape Abram and Sarai.  They would become very faithful.

How about you?  Do you desire to be a blessing to others, by acting in faith, trusting the God of glory and his plan for your life?  He’s ready to use you: I will bless you, so that you will be a blessing. (Gen. 12:2).

And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. (Galatians 3:29)

By Nathan Werner

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Protect me from making foolish or sinful decisions.  My desire is for people to see you in me.  I do not want to taint my reputation with deceit or doubt, because it reflects on you.  I value your honor and character so much that I desire to have people praise you when my attitudes and behavior are wholly pure.  I represent you to the world, and I want them to have a clear picture of your majestic nature, because I act with honor and integrity.  I do not desire possessions or prosperity over character.  Help me to maintain that mindset for your glory.

Then I want my family, friends and acquaintances get a proper picture of you as holy, as well as a God of justice.  If you use me for that purpose, make me a man of character who devoutly follows your will for my life.  Do not let desires take me even a degree off course.  Rather let me set my spiritual compass be set on true north, and help me to be unwavering in following that setting.  Don’t let deviations throw me off course, and let me faithfully follow your lead.  Be my pointman.  I pray this in Jesus’ precious name.  Amen.

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