Tag Archives: Genesis 12

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 17/260: Abram

Read Genesis 12:10-20

It’s Never Right To Do Wrong (and Ignorance is No Excuse)

Have you ever heard the term “situational ethics”? It is the idea that it is okay to do something that is wrong as long as you benefit from it and no real harm is done. It is summed up in the phrase, “The end justifies the means.”

When Abram entered Egypt, he was worried for his life. His wife Sarai was very beautiful, and Abram believed he would be killed so that she would be free from their marriage bond. To prevent this, Abram convinced Sarai to tell people she was his sister rather than his wife. Abram viewed this as an act of self-preservation, thus justifying in his mind the need to lie about their relationship.

Pharaoh was smitten by Sarai, and Abram supposedly reaped the benefits of this deception. God, however, punished Pharaoh, even though what he did was done in ignorance. Abram and Sarai’s deception caused another to suffer the wrath of God even though they did not have complete information.

We learn two important lessons from this incident. First, it’s never right to do wrong. Yes, we may see some temporary benefit to a lie, but in the long run it will ruin our soul. Liars are among those who “shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). Any benefit we may gain from deception in this life will pale in comparison to the punishment we will receive eternally.

Second, we will have to answer for our sins, even those done in ignorance. That is why it is so important to study the Scriptures and apply them to our lives. Don’t just read a chapter and close the Bible feeling accomplished. Study the Bible, seeking to understand what it says and how you can put it into practice.

The Son of God said, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). In other words, ignorance is no excuse.

If you are not engaged in an organized Bible study, I encourage you to get involved with the local church of Christ. If there is no local congregation in your area, enroll in online courses through the World Video Bible School (school.wvbs.org) or a similar sound program.

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 16/260: Abram

Read Genesis 12:1-9; Hebrews 11:8

If God Says It, Do It

God does not speak directly to us today like He did in the age of the patriarchs…but what if He did? What if He said to you, “Leave everything and everyone you know and go to a strange place.” Would you obey without hesitation? In a hypothetical situation, it is easy to say that we would obey. But in reality, there would likely be some trepidation at such a request.

Abram is the man who we later come to know as Abraham. He showed no hesitation in following God’s directive. God said, “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1). The Scriptures do not indicate any argument from Abram. Inspiration simply says, “So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him” (Genesis 12:4). How did this man so readily accept what the Lord had spoken?

The answer to that question is revealed in Hebrews 11:8. “By faith.” Abram trusted that God would accomplish what He willed and that He would protect his followers. So without any debate with Deity, “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” There was no question in Abram’s mind but that God would do what God said He would do.

God promised to bless Abram, to bless those who blessed Abram, and to bless all the families of the earth in Abram. God led Abram to the land of Canaan, a land that was inhabited, and said, “To your descendants I will give this land” (Genesis 12:7). The thing is, Abram did not have any descendants at this time. He was seventy-five years old (Genesis 12:4), and his wife Sarai was barren (Genesis 11:30).

Still, the Scriptures do not indicate any doubt in the mind of Abram. Instead of questioning what God had just said, Abram built an altar there. Then Abram continued on, as the land was not yet his, and built another altar. His faith did not waver; Abram trusted the Lord. He had the attitude, “If God says it, do it.”

Do we display that same attitude in our lives today?