Have you ever reacted in the moment, then lived to regret it? I sure have. And so too, I think, did Abram. More than once.
First, when famine hit Canaan, Abram packed up and moved to Egypt. I don’t see him consulting God about that. It appears to be a blatant act of disobedience. But, the grass is greener on the other side of the Nile.
Entering Egypt placed him and his family smack dab in the middle of enemy territory. Abram wasn’t ready for that. Which leads us to rash decision #2.
Abram told his beautiful wife, Sarai, to lie to the King of Egypt. Dangerous move, there, Abe. Again, I don’t see Abram calling on God about the situation. Maybe, like Adam, Abram thought he could hide from God. Maybe he knew he shouldn’t be in Egypt in the first place and thought he’d gotten himself into this mess, he’d get himself out. (been there, done that myself a few times).
Both of these decisions indicate Abram’s lack of faith in God. Hold onto that thought. Because bad choice #3 tells the same tale.
God had promised Abram children. Lots of children. But at this point, Abram hadn’t fathered even one. So when Sarai came up with an idea, Abram went with it. Do you see either of them going to God first? I mean, God was the one who had made the promise. Maybe He would have had a better idea than having Abram sleep with a slave girl. Just saying.
Anyway, Abram went ahead without God, and the world has been paying for it ever since.
Have you found that reacting in the moment turns out to smack you in the face? That has been my experience more often than I care to admit. I would venture to say every life choice I’ve made without including God has ended badly. Some of those choices have minor consequences. Some of those choices have resulted in consequences I still experience decades later. Some choices effected only me. Other choices have caused others to experience pain.
But all is not lost. With all the mistakes Abram made, look at 15:6. And he believed the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
When we believe the Lord, when we obey Him, when we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Which makes us righteous, too, just like Abram! Aren’t you glad God doesn’t write us off when we make those rash decisions? I am. There may be consequences, but there is forgiveness when we ask Him.
In Good News Club this week I was talking to the children about peer pressure. When faced with a hard decision, I encouraged the kids to think first. Is what they are considering right or wrong? If they do that thing, would it please God? That advice isn’t just for kids.
May we all think before we react in the moment. May we ask ourselves if our reaction is right or wrong according to God’s Word. And, maybe most importantly, would my reaction please God?
I think if Abram had thought about what he was doing, if He had prayed first, the world might look a bit differently today. If I had done the same, thought, prayed first, my life might look differently today, too.
I’m thankful for the life of Abram, a flawed individual who loved God, and whom God used in spite of his failures. I’m thankful for the cross, for forgiveness, and for prayer to a God who wants to help me make the right choices, ones that will be the best for me, and will glorify Him.