TUESDAY October 17
Following the call of God, Abraham entered the land as God had commanded him. However, right from the start, things didn’t seem to go too well for him. He arrived where God told him to go, but according to the Bible, “the Canaanites were then in the land” (Gen. 12:6, NKJV)—pagans known for their cruelty and violence. No wonder that right after Abraham got there, the Lord appeared to him and said, “ ‘To your descendants I will give this land’ ” (Gen. 12:7, NKJV). No doubt Abraham needed the encouragement.
However, things still didn’t go particularly well for him, at least at first.
Read Genesis 12:10–13:1. What things happened to him next, and what mistakes did this man of God make?
How discouraging it must have been for him: leaving a comfortable and most likely prosperous existence in the homeland, only to go, “not knowing where he was going” (Heb. 11:8, NKJV). And one of the first things he faced was a famine! This famine was so bad that he had to leave the place he had been told by God to settle in and go somewhere else. And then things got even worse after that.
“During his stay in Egypt, Abraham gave evidence that he was not free from human weakness and imperfection. In concealing the fact that Sarah was his wife, he betrayed a distrust of the divine care, a lack of that lofty faith and courage so often and nobly exemplified in his life. . . . Through Abraham’s lack of faith, Sarah was placed in great peril. The king of Egypt, being informed of her beauty, caused her to be taken to his palace, intending to make her his wife. But the Lord, in His great mercy, protected Sarah by sending judgments upon the royal household.”—Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 130.
No one has ever said mission work was easy, and by lying, by being deceitful, Abraham only made matters worse. Fortunately, God is a God of patience, and He didn’t cast off His servant for his mistake, which, unfortunately, would not be the only one Abraham would make. How comforting to know that even despite our errors, if we cling to the Lord in faith and submission, as did Abraham, not only can our errors, sins, and faults be forgiven, but the Lord can still use us for mission.