Big picture: God called Abraham to become the father of many nations, to be a prophet and a patriarch, and to father the line that would bring forth the Messiah.
Within the scenes that make up that big picture, we see Abraham’s humanity, particularly his fear of man.
Abraham’s trust and faith in God to fulfill His promise to him did not necessarily extend to every situation. When he came up against pagan kings who could kill him to take his wife, he leaned on his own wits to save himself. Himself, not Sarah. Lest we think Abraham was perfect.
But we need to find ourselves in this story, lest we think ourselves more holy than Abraham.
Being alone. Being without. Being judged. Being seen as less than. Failure. These are our fears, if we are brave enough to admit it. They are the taskmasters in our lives, and most of them stem from one fear that holds a large whip. Fear of man. Raw honesty compels us to confess that, often, the fear of man in our lives is bigger and louder than the fear of God.
How does that change what Abraham did? It doesn’t. But if we ask ourselves a simple question, and answer it with brutal honesty, we will discover a comrade in Abraham and move from judging him to understanding him, and us:
What have I done in response to my fear?
Who has been allowed in my life, not because they were right for me, but because I didn’t want to be alone? What, or who, have I sacrificed so that I could have more money, more things, more prestige, more of what someone else has? How have I sacrificed authenticity to avoid being judged? How hard have I worked to maintain an image that isn’t true because I fear what others would think if they knew the truth?
How much of the bondage I’m in is a response to fear?
Abraham feared being killed, so he put himself before his wife. If we could stand to be honest with ourselves we would find we are the children of Abraham in more ways than one.
He is committed to His plans and to His promise. He continues to rescue us, intervene for us and increase us.