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Summer Devotional and Sermon Series

Week 6/Heroes: Sarah

In 1993, the movie “Indecent Proposal” premiered. The plot of the movie involves a couple who are on the brink of financial ruin and who go to Las Vegas to try to win at gambling. After they lose everything, a mysterious billionaire offers the solution to their money problems: $1 million — if he can sleep with the wife. Does the end justify the means?

I thought of this movie as I contemplated the story of Sarai and Abram. Sarai was a beautiful woman…the kind of beauty that was noticed right away. And it was this beauty that led Abram to lie about her identity when they traveled to Egypt. Because of their deception, Sarai was taken by the Pharaoh into his harem and in exchange, Abram was showered with riches. But this presents a problem…God had promised Abram and Sarai that their descendants would be as many as the stars in the sky. How was this going to happen if Sarai was living in the palace of the Pharaoh??

God stepped in and saved the day…He sent great plagues on Pharaoh and on his house. Sarai was kept safe and once Pharaoh figured out that he had been deceived, he, in anger, sent Abram and Sarai on their way but surprisingly, with all the riches they had accumulated. At first, it seems that Sarai and Abram were rewarded for lying. But if we look more closely, by sending the plagues, God forced them to admit to their duplicity and He would not allow His long-range plans for sending the Savior through Abram and Sarai’s descendants to be foiled by Abram’s cowardice or Pharaoh’s lustful appetite. Through this, the pagan Pharaoh got to see that Abram’s God was indeed powerful and also that the God of Abram didn’t let him get away with his lie.

To be honest, I struggled with Sarai’s support of Abram in their lie, but in the culture of that time, women were basically the property of their husbands. They were dependent upon their husbands for their survival so in reality, she did not have many options. She did what her husband thought was best for them… but again… does the end justify the means?

The end result is that we see God’s plans will not be thwarted. He knew that Sarai and Abram were part of His overall plan for the salvation of His people and their actions, however sinful, were not going to stand in His way. But something to keep in mind…. God won’t necessarily bail us out of our difficulties when we try to do a good thing using sinful ways. Romans 6:1-2 reminds us “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”

Scripture

Genesis 12: 1-3 & 10-17

Prayer

You tell us that “My plans aren’t your plans, nor are your ways my ways Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my plans than your plans.” Keep us from getting into your way with our own sinful actions and thoughts. You know what is best for us… help us to remember that we our own plans fail. Amen