“Under trial Abraham forsakes the blessing,” reads the subtitle in my 1917 Scofield Reference Bible above the damning verse in Genesis 12:10: “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.”

 

As Jordan says in an old study about God’s promise to make “a great nation” of Abraham and his seed, “That’s a sad verse. Abraham’s walking up and down in the Promised Land but there’s a famine, so he says, ‘This place ain’t gonna be able to support me. It isn’t going to be able to feed my family and all my entourage. I hear Egypt is real prosperous.’ ”

 

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Jordan goes on, “Now to get the significance of that you’ve got to come over to Isaiah 30 because this is the course of Israel all through her history.”

 

Isaiah 30: 1-3 reads, “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:
[2] That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
[3] Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.”

 

“God the Father had appeared to Abraham in Genesis 12 and said, ‘I’m going to give your seed this land,’ but when the famine came, did you read anything about Abraham asking God what to do?” explains Jordan. “Do you see anything about him building an altar and saying, ‘Now Lord, I got a problem here; I don’t know how your will is going to be done in this. It looks like we’re going to get wiped out so, Lord, you’ve got to keep the promise because you made it’?

 

“Instead, Abraham looks around and says, ‘Well, it looks like this won’t do. Looks like over there would be better so I’ll think I’ll choose over there.’ You know where he got that thought? He didn’t seek counsel from God and you know what he did? He made a tragic mistake!

 

“Egypt is a type of the world in the Bible and you go back to Genesis 12 and read down to verse 17 and you won’t see the Lord’s name appear in the text even one time.

 

“Abraham forsook the counsel of God and he looked out into the world and used his own wisdom to figure out how to help God do His thing. Now, don’t forget I said that! He’s using his own wisdom to figure out how to help God preserve His seed.”

 

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The passage in Genesis 12 continues with Abraham reasoning to his wife Sarai, “Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:
[12] Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.
[13] Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.”

 

Jordan explains, “Sarah was a good-looking gal evidently, and the Egyptians had a habit of killing off the men folk and saving the women, like in Exodus 1.

 

“So Abraham says, ‘I pray thee, thou art my sister.’ Now, was that a lie? Well, it was a half-truth because they were HALF sister/brother. Abraham’s saying, ‘If we tell them you’re my wife they’re gonna think you’re a good looking gal and they’re gonna want to take you, so let’s tell them you’re my sister.’

 

“He has no trust in God; he’s conniving. The passage goes on, ‘And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife.
[18] And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?
[19] Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.
[20] And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.’

 

“That’s a great testimony to leave with, isn’t it? Have the old king get you in there and bawl you out about your own ethics. Pharaoh’s saying, “Why you old sorry rascal, what you come down here for? You don’t know nothing about life and living! You old raggedy scamp, look what you brought on my family!’ I mean, that Pharaoh had more ethics than Abraham did and he shames him!

 

“Now, there’s something interesting in that passage. Why in the world would God have plagued Pharaoh for taking Sarai to be his wife? David took another man’s wife and God didn’t put any plagues on him. I remember a guy in the New Testament, Herod had his brother’s wife and God didn’t do anything special to him.

 

“Why would he have threatened Pharaoh that way? It had to have been something special about that wife; about the ‘seed of the woman.’ You see, there’s the conflict! There’s Satan’s attempt to destroy Abraham’s seed by destroying SARAI!!! And it’s getting to Abraham. He’s all fraught with fear.

 

“The thing that got Abraham in trouble is he quit walking in faith depending on God but went off into human viewpoint and pretty soon fear overtook him and he got in circumstances that he couldn’t control, and it looked like someone was going to come along, and fear drove him further and further and further away into the satanic web that was designed to thwart God’s purposes, and God intervened with the plagues.

 

“The lesson is if God hadn’t intervened like He did, everything would have been lost for Abraham. Divine intervention to keep His dispensational purposes on track is part of God’s program for the nation Israel and it starts right here.

 

“Now Abraham’s going to come up out of Egypt with his wife and all that he had and it says he was very rich in cattle and so forth. Sure he was rich! Pharaoh had given all kind of stuff when he went down there!

 

“Isn’t it interesting a guy goes out into the world (Egypt’s a type of the world) and he makes a mess and yet every time God brought him back out of there—remember when they came out of Egypt in the Exodus, they came out with all her stuff?

 

“Abraham went right back to where he was at the beginning. He goes back and does the first work, just like Israel’s gonna have to do. All of Israel’s history is there for you. They go out, they succumb to the satanic policy of evil, and yet eventually the true son of Abraham comes and brings them back out of Egypt, rich in the splendor of the Gentiles, possessing the riches. It will take the Millennium to make all that pass, doing the very first works. And God sits them right down where they were at the beginning.

 

“There’s something in all this about us. Have you been hearing parallels with your own spiritual life in here? Remember, Abraham is not just the ‘father of the circumcision,’ he’s also the ‘father of the uncircumcision,’ and in that he’s the father of all them who believe.

 

“My friend, it took death to get Abraham loose from Haran and you know it took death to get you and me to lose some of our past. Paul said, ‘But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.’ ”