Abram (Abraham) left the land where God had placed him to go to Egypt in the time of famine. When adversity comes to the child of grace, when any kind of resistance arises in our life, many times the first response is to seek human reasoning and not God. This response is negative and the consequences can be disastrous (Proverbs 14:12). Genesis 12:10 states “there was a famine in the land (adversity, resistance): and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there.” Abram’s first response was his human reasoning which led him to Egypt and away from dependence on God. Once in Egypt, Abram resorted to lies; received riches under a mask of deception; was found out and sent away. All decisions reap a harvest. The harvest you receive from the seeds of the flesh, when identified, is not wheat, but chaff: that which is no good, useless, to no profit, of no value. Abram picked up some baggage in Egypt that came from decisions made in the flesh. This misplaced baggage would later change the course of his life and of the history of his posterity.
Genesis 12:16 relates and itemizes some of the things that Abram picked up in Egypt: “And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.” One of these items is a maidservant, whose name was Hagar (Genesis 16:1-4). Hagar became Abram’s second wife and bore him a son, Ishmael (Genesis 21:14). Hagar and her son Ishmael were finally sent away by Abram because of Sarai, his wife’s displeasure. Sarai realized after Isaac, her son, was born that she had made a terrible mistake in giving Hagar to Abram to be his wife. Isaac was the promised seed, not Ishmael. Abram and Sarai had taken things into their own hands and the harvest was bitter.
Genesis 16:11-12 states that Ishmael would be, “a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him.” (And so it has been ever since.) Thus two nations were born and have been against each other for the entire history of these two nations.
Where did the problem originate? The answer is Abram’s misplaced baggage plan. Instead of Abram facing the famine with God’s directions, he decided to go to Egypt. So he fled to Egypt with his bags and got more than he ever dreamed he would get. He came home with an Egyptian handmaid that changed the course of history. The harvest has been reaped in blood for hundreds of years.
Where are your bags today? Have you fled from God’s planned place of blessings for you because of some adversity? (Have you moved to Egypt, which spiritually stands for a place where the flesh rules?) Have you resorted to your reasoning and not waited on God? You cannot get out of God’s Will and not reap a harvest that always requires a great cost.
Trials are appointed by God for the child of grace for good, not for destruction (see James 1:2-4, Romans 5:3-5). You cannot go the flesh way and be blessed by God. Galatians 6:7-8 states, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption.”
Therefore, check where you are today. Are you where God placed you? If not, you have misplaced bags. Check your baggage; get rid of that which is bad. Confess your rebellion and go back to God’s House (Bethel).
(This devotional was previously posted on July 30, 2010.)