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Abraham’s Moral Weakness

Abraham n Sarah 2Although Abraham distinguished himself in Bible history as a man of great faith, he was not without fault. Like all believers in the true and living God, he made some mistakes, which he had to repent of, and receive God’s forgiveness.

There was one occasion in particular when Abraham failed to trust in Yahovah God’s protection and took matters into his own hands. When his life was endangered, Abraham put his wife Sarah in a position to be sexually defiled by another man in order to save his own skin.

The incident occurs in Egypt where Abraham had to take his family to find food (Genesis 12:10-20). At the time, there was a grievous famine in the land of Canaan where Abraham lived, and he was forced to travel to Egypt which had plenty.

Sarah’s Beauty

Even at 65 years of age, Sarah was still a beautiful woman and Abraham became fearful that the Egyptians would murder him in order to take his wife (a habit not uncommon in the Middle East). Therefore, Abraham asked Sarah to lie for him and tell the Egyptians she was his sister.

“Say, I pray thee, you are my sister; that it may be well with me for your sake; and my soul shall live because of you.” – Genesis 12:13

Unfortunately, the king of Egypt himself (Pharaoh) took an interest in Sarah’s beauty and brought her into his harem of many wives. But before he could have sexual relations with her, God stepped in to correct Abraham’s mistake. He sent a plague on Pharaoh and his household. When Pharaoh realized what was happening – that he was under a curse, he called for Abraham and confronted him with his deceit.

“What is it you have done to me? Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’? so that I might have taken her [sexually] to be my wife?” Now therefore, here is your wife back; take her and go your way.” – Genesis 12:18-19

Abraham’s failure to trust God to deliver him out of any trouble and resort to dishonoring his own wife shows us that Abraham’s  faith  was not yet fully developed; he was still morally weak. However, Abraham did much better as he grew older and wiser in his latter years.  As a matter of fact, Abraham became known as the “Father of our faith” because of his overall exemplary accomplishments (Hebrews 11:8-12).

We can certainly relate to Abraham, when we examine our own lives.

How often have we made mistakes of our own? How many times have we made fools of ourselves for making wrong choices, or failing to trust God as we should? But despite these early setbacks, we can hopefully look back on our own lives and see how much better we are today than yesterday, by the grace of God. How much stronger is our faith today than it used to be, how we have spiritually grown since we first believed.

Praise be to God for never giving up on us; His mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:22-23). Stop punishing yourself for the mistakes of the past, and keep looking forward to the glorious future that God has destined for you. Remember that Jesus our Lord, is the “author” and “finisher” of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). He will never give up on us until He has completed his work in us. It’s not how you start the race that matters most, but how you finish.

– Luis Josephus

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Struggling Faith

Grace For Today“When however they persisted with their accusations, He [Jesus] raised His head and said to them, “Let the sinless man among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” – John 8:7

Many people are quick to criticize and judge others who fall into sin or fail to live up to their standards of perfection.  But the truth of the matter is, none of us are perfect – no matter how much we say we love God or try to keep His commandments.

The Bible tells us that we are “saved by grace through  faith” in the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross on our behalf. We must remember that, even after we are saved and spiritually born again, we are still far from being perfect. We are all a “work-in-progress” for the rest of our lives. We will still commit mistakes and sin everyday, make wrong moral choices, and fail to live up to the righteous expectations of our holy God. We even have days that our faith is weak and wonder if we are really saved at all.

But does that make us phonies? Or does anyone else have the right to judge us or question our salvation? Not at all! Even Abraham, who is considered the “father of our faith” struggled with his faith and made wrong moral choices.

In Genesis 12:10-20, we are disappointed to learn that Abram, a great man of faith, was also a man of moral weakness. At 65 years of age, Abram took his family to Egypt. Because he feared for his life, he sold his beautiful wife Sarai into adultery with the Pharaoh of Egypt. He lied about Sarai being his sister and permitted her to become the sexual plaything of the King. Fortunately God intervened before Sarai was defiled and struck Pharaoh and all his other wives and family with disease.

When Abram’s deception was exposed, Pharaoh was mad. He declared, “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? Why did you lie to me and say, ‘She is my sister.’?” Ashamed and humiliated, Abram, Sarai and their entire clan were expelled from Egypt.

Abram’s character weakness and failure to trust God to protect him and deliver him out of any danger shows that, this great man of faith, still had “issues”. His faith still faltered at times, and his personal works did not line up with the religion he professed.

Does that sound familiar?

I think many of us can relate to that story. I know I can. I think many of us will admit we have done things that we regret and that has brought shame to the name of Christ. When we sin and make mistakes, don’t give up; God is very forgiving, merciful and patient with us. Confess your sins to Him and promise to do better. When you fall, pick yourself up and get back in the race. Keep pressing on towards the finish line and you will ultimately win the prize.

FAITH STEP

Memorize the verse: “If we confess our sins,[to God] He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Remember that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. The good work He has started in us will be completed one day. Don’t ever give up on God – no matter what. He will never leave us or abandon us.

PRAYER

Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for your great mercy, forgiveness and compassion. Please forgive me of my sins today. I confess that I am weak and make mistakes. Strengthen me more and more each day and help me to live up to your holy standards. Thank you for Jesus who paid the penalty for my sins on the cross. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

– Pastor Luis Yosefus

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