The Way of the Warrior Week 27 - The Warrior's Journey®

The Way of the Warrior Week 27

Author: Nathan Werner,

. Photo by is licensed under CC By 2.0

In Genesis 12, we’re introduced to Abram, God’s choice to recieve blessing: “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Gen. 12:3).  Abram launched with dynamic spirituality, then made  poor choices and did a mudslide into depravity. He gave up his wife Sarai, and then deceived Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt.  Abram went from a glorious and faith-filled take-off, to a screaming moral crash. However, he didn’t lose God’s promises, though he acted like his old self.

Abram left the Promised Land by his own choice and landed hip deep in the moral muck of Egyptian culture.  According to Egyptian theology, Pharaoh was the physical manifestation of god on earth. How did the Egyptian ‘god’ treat Abram compared to the Lord?

Abram went to Pharaoh (12:10-15).  In contrast, the Lord came to Abram (12:1, 7).

Pharaoh took Abram’s dearest possession – Sarai.  He did this for his pleasure, not for Abram’s good (12:11, 12). In comparison,  the Lord gave Abram promises of great blessings (12:1-3) assuring Abram that he was valuable to the Lord, taking nothing from him.

Pharaoh threatened Abram’s life if he could not have his dearest possession (12:13).  The Lord never threatened Abram or Sarai, but saved them from poor choices (12:1-3, 17).

Pharaoh gave Abram possessions to bribe him (12:16).  Jehovah freely gave Abram bountiful earthly and heavenly blessings (12:1-3).

Pharaoh was outraged and was uncomfortable when Abram sinned (12:18).  When Abram sinned, the Lord protected him and Sarai, never accusing them of failure (12:17).

Pharaoh was deeply offended by Abram and deported him from Egypt. After Abram’s failure, Jehovah accepts him back into His presence (13:4).

Pharaoh exiled Abram. Jehovah was accessible and approachable even though Abram had been disobedient (13:4, 14).

Pharaoh had lavished Abram with great possessions (12:16), some becoming damaged. Jehovah blessed Abram with great abundance (13:14ff) in order to fulfill His plan to bless others.

Pharaoh did not bestow goodness and goodwill on Abram’s household.  God blessed Abram, then blessed the entire world through him (12:3).

The Lord shines in contrast to Pharaoh, the man/god pretender.  Moses wrote this historic narrative to the Israelite exiles, who also had terrible experiences with another Pharaoh, and the nation of Egypt.  The former slaves got a clearer picture of the goodness and majesty of the Lord. How about you? Does the Lord’s reputation grow in your mind?

So, what’s next for Abram?  Are the Lord’s promises still good for him, or do they deteriorate in accord with Abram’s behavior?  Will Abram head back to his family and his old home in Haran? (11:27-32). After all, he had been very successful there.

“So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negev” (Gen. 13:1 ESV).  The Negev is desert, a place of desolation.  It is part of the land of Promise, but it is a stark wilderness.  After Abram’s moral failure, and disobedience, repentance might take him – and you, and I, through some very bleak and challenging experiences.  “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Ps. 23:4).

Consequences are sometimes hard things, but the Lord often lets our choices be good teachers.  The Lord does not airlift Abram and his entourage over the Negev, rather he goes with them through the challenge of restoration and renewal.  Returning to the place of blessing, might be arduous, but it culminates in restoration. Pharaoh, the pretend god, exiled Abram, wanting nothing to do with him.  The Lord continued with his plans for Abram, willing to forgive and bless Abram, restoring him to a redemptive life. That is good news for you and me.

“Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold” (Gen. 13:2).  Wealth did not give security and peace of mind.  Was Abram just going to plop down, build himself a mansion, and become a land owner- living the life of comfort from abundance?

“And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning…” (13:3).  Abram does not head back to his hometown of Haran, he goes back to the place of first things, where he worshipped and called on the Lord (12:8).  It is apparent that he is going to reconnect in relationship with the Lord. Enough of trusting in Egypt, thinking it was a place of safety in a crisis (12:10).  Abram sets his sights on:

“To the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the LORD” (13:4).  Abram doesn’t expect the Lord was waiting with a scowl, arms crossed, tapping his foot in disappointment.  Abram was like the Prodigal Son returning to his father: “And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20).  God is not a crabby old crank. He is full of joy when his children come back into fellowship with him – trust me.  It’s lousy being a prodigal, but it is joyful coming home.

The Lord feels the same way about you, as he did for Abram: “For when God made a promise to Abraham… saying, ‘Surely I will bless you and multiply you.’” (Heb. 6:13, 14). This means he is waiting to bless you.  Remember: “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” (Gal. 3:29).  Don’t think God’s favor depends on your perfection.  His favor comes with your faith. Abram went back to first things, with the Lord.  God faithfully waits and will not dismiss you, like Pharaoh. You are not a spiritual failure, you are a work in progress.

However, there is another thing Abram has now got to address: “And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents,” (Gen. 13:5).  Remember, the Lord told Abram to: “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you” (Gen. 12:1).  Abram was not to take his relatives with him, but he made this one itsy bitsy compromise – now it becomes a big problem.  Stay tuned…


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