And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.…
I. THE FAILURE OF ABRAM'S FAITH. Doubtless the Lord intended by this famine in the Land of Promise to subject the faith of His servant to a serious test. We do not read that the patriarch asked counsel of "Jehovah who appeared unto him," and his neglect to do so was probably the point at which he went wrong. Unhappily he still "looked at the things which are seen," and lost for a season his perfect confidence in the guardian care of God.
II. THE WORLDLY DEVICE WHICH HE ADOPTED.
1. To call his wife his sister was deceitful; it was a mean equivocation — that sort of half-truth which is the most dastardly and sometimes the most dangerous of lies.
2. Abram's policy was cowardly; it was adopted as a means of selfishly insuring his own life against those in Egypt who might account murder a less heinous crime than adultery; when he ought instead to have bravely trusted, as heretofore, in the Divine presence and protection.
3. And his device was cruel; it involved elements of serious wrong to Sarai, for it constituted her a partner in the falsehood, and exposed her honour to serious perils while it also laid a snare in the way of the Egyptians. But the cunning device was a failure.
III. THE PUNISHMENT WHICH OVERTOOK HIM. When Sarai was removed from him into the royal harem, Abram must have suffered the torture of an accusing conscience, as well as intense anxiety on account of the danger to his wife, the future mother of the promised seed.
IV. GOD'S GRACIOUS INTERVENTION ON HIS BEHALF. Abram has sinned; but he is a man of God still, and the Lord "will not deal with him after his sin."
Parallel VersesKJV: And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.