Polyventure Publications

Abram in Egypt - Genesis 12

Genesis 12 records that when Abram left the oak of Moreh for Egypt, he had a promise from God.  “To your descendents I will give this land” (Gen. 12:7).  There is no record of the Canaanites going to Egypt, but we know that Abram left the land which the Lord had promised him because, “there was a famine in the land” (Gen.12:10).  Many see this as a time when Abram did not trust in the Lord, but rather in the power and strength of Egypt.  Nothing good comes from Abram’s sojourn in Egypt.  There is no record of him calling on the Lord from the time he left Canaan until his return to Canaan.  While in Egypt, his deceit to Pharaoh ended in his disgracing more than the name of Abram, but the name of the Lord God whom he served.

    So Abram, the man of faith of Hebrews 11:8-10, who obeyed when God called him, not knowing where he was going, and living as an alien in a foreign land, and dwelling in tents in the land promised to him, did not always “keep the faith”.  This is a time that Abram trusted in the security and strength of Egypt over the promises of God.  Egypt offered visible refuge, food, and security.  The land God promised visibly offered ruin and starvation.  Abram had the difficult decision of whether to walk by sight or by faith in this situation, as he contemplated seeing all that God had promised being destroyed because he didn’t use the brain God had given him and go to Egypt.

    All the above can be excused, short of a direct revelation from the Lord Himself.  If the Lord is silent, He very well is allowing us to decide how to access the temporary while plundering the bounty of Egypt.  But then there are the closed doors that lie ahead.  If it actually was the will of the Lord for Abram to go to Egypt so His name would be glorified, Abram did not catch the vision, as he deceived Pharaoh to save his own life.  At the point Abram was instructing Sarai to lie for him, he should have known that he was violating the very standards of the God of Truth; as it is not honoring to God to ever stoop to the ways of darkness; the end does not justify the means in the world view of those who walk by faith.

      By this time Abram was so intent on continuing on to Egypt he had obviously forgotten the very promise of God, “To your descendents I will give this land”.  If Abram’s descendents were to inherit the land of Canaan, Abram could not die at the hands of the Egyptians before he had a child.  Abram was obviously blinded by the need for survival, and working out the Lord’s plan for his life in his own way.

      We can be assured that Abram learned the hard lesson and discipline of the Lord, not only by his return to the altar and offering sacrifice (Gen.13:4) after he returned to the land the Lord had promised him, but in his future life of faith and being listed  in the faith hall of fame in Hebrews eleven.  There are many analogies we can make in our own lives concerning getting our eyes and focus off the Spirit and being led by sight instead of faith, and many sermons have been preached on this subject.   On the other hand, there is a subject involving walking by sight, on which as a whole even protestant denominations remain silent.  It is one of the few remnants of the Roman Catholic tradition that not only remains unchallenged by those whose battle cry has been “sola scriptura”, but some even promote this unbiblical tradition.

     I am speaking of the Roman Catholic tradition of the aptly called “just war theory” or “just war tradition”.  Like most traditions, it has absolutely no New Testament foundation and is followed and referred to as an addition to scripture and even over riding scriptural mandates.  All this relates to Abram’s sojourn to Egypt in the sense that to advocate a “just war”, is to trust in the strength and provision of Egypt over the power and provision of the promise of the Lord.  If Abram would have truly had faith in the promises of God upon entering Egypt, he would have known that the king could not have killed him prior to their having a child.  For the promises of the Lord in their entirety were based upon Abram having a child.  Likewise, the “just war” advocates seem to forget that in order to have even a remnant of saints referred to in the last days of the present earth age, would mean that God will preserve a remnant throughout history.

     Christian leadership often advocates war (going to Egypt) when non-believers (Canaanites) do not even see the need (to go to Egypt).  Many times it is the Christian leadership who lead the cry that there is a “famine in the land”, and the only help is to rely upon the power and provision of Egypt instead of the promises of God.  Even the standards set forth in the “just war tradition”, do not protect anything whatsoever spiritual, but only those physical things, which we otherwise are taught are of no use in the eternal kingdom.  Like Abram’s sojourn in Egypt, nothing eternally good comes from the believer’s involvement in physical war.

     As Abram fell into sin (deceit), so the established church today has fallen into the sin of advocating a tradition of men above the Word of God.  Church leaders today continue in the Roman tradition of an unholy marriage of the kingdoms of this world with the kingdom of God, which has never produced godly fruit in seventeen-hundred years.  As Abram turned a blind eye to his calling, mission and witness while in Egypt, so too those who advocate a “just war” turn a blind eye to the clear new testament teaching of loving our enemies, doing good to those who persecute us, and even the great commission of making disciples.  All this from a fear of losing what we will not keep, and maintaining and further accumulating wealth, prosperity and a desired lifestyle.

      Like Abram disgraced the name of the Lord, those who teach war in Jesus name also disgrace His holy name. Those who advocate war are not only returning evil for evil, but are spreading death, destruction, misery and hatred; when they should be witnesses of life, love and reconciliation.  Just War is the tradition of men that is not spoken of by those who otherwise teach “sola scriptura” and pro-life.  War is not pro-life and is not sola scriptura.  Just War was not the Old Testament standard and is totally opposed to New Testament teaching.  Revival will not come until those who call themselves by the name of Jesus truly teach and live ‘sola scriptura’, become consistently pro-life, and become ‘full gospel’, by rejecting the false tradition of ‘just war’.  Then, like Abram, we can return to the land which the Lord promised, and once again offer sacrifice.  For us that sacrifice is the sacrifice of Romans 12:1,2; i.e. presenting our bodies to him and being transformed by the renewing of our minds.

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