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Daily Devotional Genesis 12:10–20

In the ancient world, history was recorded in glowing, positive terms. For example, Assyrian and Egyptian records do not recount any defeats in battle. They skip over the negative parts of their past. Israel was unique in this regard. Throughout the Old Testament, the authors record not only Israel’s successes but also their failures.

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us.


Because there was a famine, Abram decided to travel to Egypt for relief. The regular flooding of the Nile provided Egypt with food even when other countries were suffering. Did this show a lack of faith on Abram’s part? God had promised him the land of Canaan (Gen. 12:7). The text does not say God commanded Abram to leave.

As Abram traveled to Egypt, he was clearly afraid. He worried that Sarai’s beauty would tempt the Egyptians to kill him, if they knew he was her husband. So, he told his wife to say that she was his sister (v. 13). The irony here is that God had already promised to protect Abram (Gen. 12:3). Even so, Abram decided to take matters into his own hands.

Thinking that Sarai was not married, Pharaoh brought her into his palace to prepare her to become one of his wives (v. 15). This was a direct threat to God’s promise to make Abram into a great nation (Gen. 12:2). God delivered Sarai from Pharaoh’s household by afflicting Pharaoh’s household with plagues (v. 17). Abram’s silence when rebuked by Pharaoh demonstrated his guilt (vv. 18–19). Yet despite this, God blessed Abram and brought him back to Canaan.

God is faithful to keep His promises despite the failure of His servants—“For God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable” (Rom. 11:29). Our salvation is secure not because we are perfect, but because of God’s faithfulness.

Go Deeper

Have you ever been tempted to manipulate circumstances to get a desired result, even when you have already committed the situation to God in prayer? How does Abraham’s story speak into our need to trust God?

Pray with Us

Lord, we may believe that You are able and willing to take care of us, but often our choices reveal that we have placed our hope in our own efforts. Father, in Your lovingkindness, help us trust You wholeheartedly.

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