Faith in a Box
Abraham replied, “I thought, ‘This is a godless place. They will want my wife and will kill me to get her’ ” (v.11).
Having purchased fire-escape ladders for our two-story home, we decided to take them out of the box and practice using them before the onset of an emergency.
So on a hot summer day our family climbed out of our upstairs windows one at a time. Comical for anyone to watch, the tone of events changed when our daughter felt the ladder moving as she climbed down. Although she had previously climbed a high ropes course, the swaying of the ladder was more palpable to her than the touch of her dad just a few feet below her on the ground. Nothing we said could convince her that she was safe.
We’re not alone in our fear. Whether it’s a fear of heights, a fear of unknown places or a fear of getting hurt in relationships, we all have well-constructed mental and emotional fortresses to keep us safe. Abraham trusted in his ability to control his circumstances by selecting which pieces of information to disclose and which to hide. Interestingly it was his concern that there was “no fear of God in this place” (Genesis 20:11 NASB) that drove him to deceive. Abimelech’s response, however, evidenced an awe of the Lord’s hand (vv.4-8) and proved to be more honorable than Abraham’s (vv.9,16).
But the story doesn’t end there. James 2:23 reminds us that fear did not forever direct Abraham’s path: “And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: ‘Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.’ He was even called the friend of God.”
Abraham came to understand that though circumstances could make him feel as if the ‘ladder of safety’ was swaying beneath him, the arm of his Father was ready and willing to save (Numbers 11:23; Jeremiah 32:17). O that we too may be called faithful.
Read Isaiah 40:1. In this passage, God pledges His comfort and provision to His people. What is our part in this promise?
What is your typical response when you feel that circumstances are spinning out of control? What does God want you to understand about His hand of protection?