Ira Baptist Church
The Fallout of Sin Continues (Genesis 12:10-20)
- Everyone Arise
- How Can I Keep From Singing
- Lord I Lift Your Name on High
- Jesus Messiah
- IntroductionHalf truth is a a whole lieNow there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. 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.”Abram has just had God take him to what is the promised land, the land of Canaan.However, the land if filled with Canaanites, obviously, so Abram journeys through toward Negeb.Negeb is south of the Land, Abram was called by God at Ur, and then went to Haran, and wandered through all the promised land, Isreal.So now Abram is south of Canaan.Homeless.But a famine comes, so for better or worse, Abram continues going south to Egypt.He sojourns there.This word means live beside.The idea is that he is not a resident, he is not a visitor.He is spending a certain amount of time in this land living beside the people or a community.It’s not his home, and it’s not permanent, but he is here for relief.The famine was severe.But then Abram has to have a heart to heart with his wife and it starts out awesome!Hey Sarai, sweet heart, you know how I say you are b-e-a-utiful!Well everyone says that about you!Remember we are not talking about Abram and Sarai the newlyweds, we are talking about Abram and Sarai, the 75 year old man married to his 65 year old wife.This is before all those creams and spas and botox that keep people young.Sarai is 65 years old and Abram and everyone else sees that she is beautiful!I want to pause at this point, because it’s one of those times in mid sentence where she has to be elated right!Oh Abram you are so sweet, this far into marriage, 50-ish year and you somehow keep on showing me love!Abram keeps talking...When we get to Egypt the Egyptians are going to look at you and see what me and everyone else sees, you are so beautiful!Oh Abram stop it...They will look at me as your husband and kill me and let you live...You are so beautiful that people will kill me.Oh Abram your flattering me… you would die for me.Well I didn’t say I would die.Here is my idea.This is where her face goes from swooning to you better hope the Egyptians kill you because I am going to do worse.Abram says here is my idea, it’s set it stone you are to beautiful for them to resist, but I don’t have to die.So say you are my sister (which is not a complete lie) so that it will go well with me, I will live, because of you!I cannot protect you but you can protect me!Do you see what this sinful heart of Abram has done?Up to this point Abram has been a very noble person, in fact if we didn’t know the story we might think… is Abram the snake crusher?But then we see sin rise to the surface.We see the rebellion coming.Husbands are meant to protect their wivesYet, what we see happening here, and what we will continue seeing happen is as sin spreads deeper and wider more quickly, the relationships humans have with one another is just as wounded as the relationship humans have with God.Abram looks a lot like Adam hiding behind Eve as she eats the apple, when he passively present the only option is whether you want me to live or not.They are going to take you there is nothing I can do, but you can say a half truth, it’s not even a full lie, and I will not die.I mean God promised that our offspring will be a great nations, you don’t want to come in the way of God’s plan do you?The plan has been made.Sarai will lie in an effort to protect her husband.Sin begets sin it doesn’t bring life.Ignorance is no excuseWhen Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels. But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.On the surface Abram’s plan went exactly like he thought it would.We are not told how Sarai feels about it, I am certain she wasn’t excited.They see her beauty!Remember she is barren, cannot have kids.It’s crude why Pharoah wants her, She cannot get pregnant, and she is pretty.She is seen as an object to be used, not a image bearer of God.Abram acted like this was his only option, And he cowers and let’s his wife be used and abused, and in the means time he is treated well because of her.Pharoah treats her like and object and so does Abram.He trades his wife for sheep, oxen, male donkey, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.It a severe famine.This is no little reward, this is huge!Pharoah really wanted Sarai.This little half truth seems to be paying off for Abram.Except for one small little detail.The only time in this narrative God is mentioned taking action is right here.God afflicts Pharoah with great plagues BECAUSE of Sarai.For the Israelite’s wandering in the wilderness, this would sound familiar.They just left Egypt (same place Abram and Sarai are at) they went to Egypt because of a famine (same reason they ended up in Egypt.And God afflicts Pharoah with great plagues (same way God afflicted the Pharaoh they were under with great plagues)The question we need to ask is important.Did Pharoah know this information?Abram and Sarai lie to them, saying she is his sister (half truth full lie).What would Pharoah have done if they had not hidden this information from him?We do not know, but we do know that God afflicts Pharoah.One of the things that we have subtly bought into I am afraid is that ignorance is an excuse for sin.Ignorance does not mean you are dumb, it means you do not know.That Pharoah didn’t know Sarai was Abram’s wife, but that didn’t ease his punishment.Repentance requires actionSo Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 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.” And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.Remember, Pharoah is the pagan king of a land that worship's false gods.Abram is the former moon worshiper who God chose and saved and has worshiped God and set up altars to God.Yet the image we see here is in contrast.We are not told how Pharoah finds out Sarai is Abram’s wife and that's why he has these plagues, but someone he figures it out.This man who he has given many things to, now is on the other side of Pharoah, but Pharoah isn’t going to do anything to Abram because look what God did to him for taking his wife that he didn’t even know was his wife… imagine what God would do if he killed him.Instead he calls Abram out.Why did you lie to me?He gives Sarai back.Then he kicks him out of Egypt.Orders his men concerning Pharoah, that sounds to me like you don’t have to go home but you cannot stay here guards deal with them.So they leave, presumably with everything that has been given to them.This is such an odd ending for me.Abram was in the wrong and it feels like he gets a slap on the wrist, but it kind of works out for him from a worldly standard.He has much more stuff now.His wife is his again.He was sojourning and now he is wealthy.But underlying all of that is the story of Abram is not over.This sin that wraps Abram and all other humans is not done wrecking creations and relationships.I imagine Sarai is glad to be out of Pharaoh's palace, but how does she feel about her husband who treated her as a object, though a pretty one?ConclusionThe power of the Gospel is beyond anything that you and I can comprehend, because the gospel is not created or formed by you and I.It is from God.Before we get to hard on Abram let’s remember:We are not completely faithful all the times either.We are inconsistent.According to the letter of the law Abram didn’t lie or make Sarai lie.But according to the heart of the law, this half truth is a whole lie.Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.Jesus says there, I am the TRUTH.Pay attention to why God gives these people up in Romans 1:24-25.Romans 1:24–25 (ESV)Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.We still do this exchange of truth and lies, it just doesn’t look like golden idols, and statues.This is treating men and women as things to be worshiped or things to be used for my worship and gratification, instead of image bearers pointing to the only one who is worthy of Worship.God is Truth and the truth will set you free but it is painful and it hurts, because we are marred with sin.the Gospel exposes us to God, God sees us for all of who we are.We cannot hide form Him, He knows us better than we know ourselves.For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.This is frightening because we know we are not perfect.We know we are sinners.We know that God is just.We know that God is righteous.We know that God HATES sin.But God is also gracious.God is Merciful.God is loving.So God lays us bare, and sees everything the good, the bad, and very very ugly.Jesus sees the things that would make everyone else run away and abandon you.Jesus sees the darkest of dark thoughts.Jesus sees the worst of you and me.He sees that we fear He sees.He sees us, completely and fully.For the sinners who feel their shame.For the sinners who feel the weight of their sin.For the sinners who see the issues, and know that inevitably it goes before God.For the sinners who seek the approval of God over man.For those sinners, we do not cover up our sin to save face.For those sinners, we do not act like we have it all together.For those sinners, we do not wallow in our sin and feel helpless.For those sinners, we go to Jesus.We don’t use half truths to make us feel temporarily better, we know that in the end we will be before Jesus with nothing to hide.We go to Jesus NOW!He is the source of peace and hope, but that comes as he cleans us up.We are made in His Image, and God is remaking us to be more and more like Jesus.Repentant and resting on Him.And what we find is a God, a savior, who doesn’t drop the hammer of justice on us and crush us, but instead, take the punishment that us weary heavy laden sinners could never bear for us, and he clothes us in clothes that we could never afford or deserve to wear.When we run to Jesus we find a God who takes our sin and shame upon Himself so that we do not bear that burden any more.But the cost of this is stepping into the light.The cost is being exposed before God.Not hiding anything, but coming to God in Faith, trusting that he is your only hope.Because a half truth is a whole lie.Ignorance is no excuse!I’ll make a guess here… every one in this room and anyone who is watching online has a physical bible at their house.I would venture to guess everyone has multiple versions of the bible.I would venture to guess everyone has access to the internet which has copies of the bible to be accessed.I would venture to guess every one has access to free apps that have bible on them.I would venture to guess we have access to sermons, and bible studies, and extremely solid and biblical content online.I would venture to guess that our excuses for not knowing the bible better, not knowing God better have nothing to do with access to the text and everything to do with a lack of desire.It’s a lot easier to read a meme or a picture or hear a sermon clip on social media than it is to diligently and faithfully and consistently approach the text of scripture for yourself.It’s a lot easier to hear what we want to hear, and feel like we are well rounded.If the bible you are readings, if there sermons you are hearing, if the social media you are absorbing always makes you feel like you are the one in the right other people are the issues then you are missing the Gospel of Jesus and the Word of God.Sin is pervasiveIt reshaped our minds and our hearts to long for created things rather than the creator, and we get upset when we do not get what we want and we blame God.In the light comes healing, but it means you have to be cut open, you cannot pretend like you didn’t know.You knew.You also know others around you who need to know Jesus too.Repent and turn to Jesus!Did you notice in this story is we do not see Abram in repentance, even though he is the chosen and saved one who get the girl and the treasure in the end.He is the one the line of the Messiah the snake crusher is going through.This teaches us that repentance is not a way to get God to do what you want.Repentance is not about I’m sorry God can I please have my stuff back know? I promise I will stop fighting and mind better.Repentant is about a heart that longs to make right what is wrong, and admit that you are part of the problem, and now you want to be part of the solution.
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