Do NOT allow FEAR to ‘RULE OVER’ your FAITH in GOD: 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. 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. 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. Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you." (Gen. 12:10-13)
The above passage reveals the sin of one of the greatest men in the Bible, Abram who was called “My Friend” by God (in Isaiah 41:8). He stands out in the entire scriptures as the “Father of Faith”, and he appears as a man of faith when he steps out into the unknown in obedience and faith at God’s Word (vv. 1-4). However, during a time of serious famine, Abram left the place of God’s choosing and fled to Egypt, the “bread basket” of the ancient world symbolizing the world. This move bred trouble for him. Abram became obsessed with the fear that the Pharaoh might kill him in order to seize his beautiful wife Sarai for his harem. So Abram prevailed on Sarai to lie by saying that she was his sister. Actually she was his half-sister (20:12), but it was still a lie and a deception. Abram had allowed fear to rule over his faith in God’s providence, who had promised to take care of him!
The Bible portrays Abram as a liar, but God miraculously and graciously protected him from disaster (vv. 17–19), and ultimately brought him back to the Promised Land. It was Sarai’s submission to her husband Abram, even in his wrongdoing that placed her under the protection of God. God later dealt with Pharaoh (he and his household contracted plagues), and her husband, who tried to deceive out of fear for his life. God did not forsake Abram, but He did allow the sin to work itself out. Abram was publicly humbled by the Pharaoh and deported in disgrace.
This incident reminds us that we should not wage a spiritual warfare with carnal weapons, that the end does not justify the means, and that we can’t sin and get away with it. Scheming will not work in the life of God’s children as it is deceptive, unnecessary, and faithless. Twice Abram succumbed to his fear that a ruler would kill him in order to steal his wife when he deceived both Pharaoh (Gen. 12:10-20) and King Abimelech (Gen. 20:2-13) by claiming his wife as his sister. By doing this, he put God’s plan at risk and his wife in danger. We can also fear like Abram, compromise our integrity, set aside values, and put someone’s eternity at risk when we are reluctant to share the gospel out of fear.
Only one thing will conquer our fears: our tenacious faith in God’s presence, protection, power and promises. When we let our faith overcome our fears, God will turn our worry into worship. Remember, our faith is always tested for at least three reasons: to prove whether our faith is real; to help our faith grow; and to bring glory to the Lord (1 Pet. 1:6–9; James 1:1–8). Let’s always walk by faith and not by sight and fear!