Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD. And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.
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. 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.”
Comment: When we see from archeological studies what the ancients achieved we are deluded if we think that they were ignorant and incapable. I’m left with lots of questions as I read this period of Biblical history. Because the scripture says that no man has seen God, what does it mean that God appeared to Abram? Was it in a dream? Was it an angelic appearance? What is a theophany – that is a pre-incarnation appearance of Jesus the Son – whom we are told was part of the Godhead from eternity? At any rate it was certainly an experience which caused Abram to build altars presumably to sacrifice to the God Who had met with him. With large flocks and many people they travelled around no doubt looking over the land he had been promised and getting adequate grazing for his large flocks. A nasty famine took them into Egypt where he played around with who Sarai was. To escape being murderously dispatched he chose to announce her as his sister and not his wife. That wasn’t a lie in that in their close tribal group she was his ‘sister’; nevertheless a lie in that she was his wife. How will the Egyptians and God handle this?
Prayer: Help me to handle the truth wisely.