Abraham and Isaac were deceiving their host countries

Last updated on November 25, 2021

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? 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.’” (Genesis 12:18-19)

Abraham and his son Isaac were living in the land of Canaan, and both survived a famine by temporarily moving abroad. But both men made the same mistake of not trusting the Lord and deceiving the people in their host countries. Abraham and Isaac each had a very beautiful wife and feared that they themselves would be killed for their wife’s sake. Therefore, Abraham pretended that Sarai was his sister, and Isaac later told the same lie about his wife Rebekah. By doing so, they put their host countries at risk, as these blamed them afterwards: “What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us” (Genesis 26:10).

In Abraham’s case, this actually happened. Pharaoh took Sarai for his wife and “the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife” (Genesis 12:17). Abraham and his descendants were called to be a blessing to other nations. But their selfish behavior achieved the opposite.

Do you “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16)? Or do you misuse other people’s hospitality?

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