“And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.” (Genesis 13:1)
“And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.” (Genesis 13:2)
Even when Abram demonstrated his lack of understanding of the Promises of God; even when he fled into Egypt in the face of a great famine, when he should have waited on God’s Instructions – God had a plan to bless Abram.
Note these verses in Proverbs:
“There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.” (Proverbs 19:21)
“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
God has ordained good for His people. Even when we rebel and sin against Him, and go to Egypt (or go the way of the flesh) to find the answer – God has a plan, even in our sin, to bless us.
Abram was wrong for fleeing to Egypt for supply in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 says to go to the throne of grace to find help in time of need. Remember this, the world has no wisdom for God’s Sheep; the world has no good for us – the only thing the world has for us is to use us for their own benefit.
Yes, it is a paradox; for even in our sin, God can bless us with wealth, the wealth of wisdom and understanding. Let us shift from the physical analogy of Abram being blessed with physical wealth, to spiritual wealth.
Note Hebrews 12:11:
“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
Every time, no exception, there is a cost to the Child of God when he goes to Egypt. In Abram’s case, this cost was later noted in several ways:
- Lot learned the ways of Egypt, and he chose Sodom for his dwelling place – the cost was great to Abram and Lot.
- Abram picked up an Egyptian maidservant, named Hagar, who broke Abram’s heart. Abram married Hagar, had a son Ishmael, whom he loved. He had to send Hagar away with his son Ishmael.
Sometimes the cost comes later in life. You think maybe God has forgotten – but not so. If you sow seeds of the flesh, you shall reap corruption (Galatians 6:7-8). See David’s life from his sin of adultery and murder (2 Samuel 11, 12; etc.).
Reaping has nothing to do with being forgiven. God has forgiven His People in the Atonement of Christ; and upon that foundation, we come and make confession of daily defilements and are cleansed of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
However, even in our sin, God has a plan for good in His Chastisement. As Abram went into Egypt and lied about his wife, God blessed him financially and caused Pharaoh to send him out of Egypt. Even being cast out was a great blessing to Abram. The longer one stays in Egypt, the longer he stays away from God and His worship. When Abram left Egypt, he returned to “the place of the altar” (Genesis 13:4). See Genesis 12:8, where he had previously “called upon the name of the LORD.” As he returned to the same place, he called on the name of the Lord as before (13:4).
Thank God if you have been down in Egypt and by the mighty Power of God, the world cast you out, and you have returned to the Place of the Altar (or to Christ; Hebrews 13:15).
Thank God if you came out with your wife and all your possessions (13:1). Sometimes, God causes you to lose it all, as Lot did when he left Sodom later on.
Also, praise God that in His Plan of Chastisement, He has good for us; as He convicts, changes, and conforms us to His Image.
Praise Him for giving us the wealth of wisdom and understanding while in our mess. This wealth will prove very valuable as our journey progresses in the Will of God.