LESSON 11 – Abram in Egypt – Genesis 12:10-20

  1. Discussion – Read Gen. 12:10-20.  Why did Abram go to Egypt? (vs. 10 – there was a famine in Canaan) Did God tell him to do that? (It isn’t mentioned in the Bible that He did.) What plan did Abram come up with on the way to Egypt and why did he think he needed to make this plan? (vs. He decided to have Sarai tell every one in Egypt his wife was his sister. She was exceptionally beautiful and he feared that in order to get her for a wife an Egyptian would kill him. If Sarai said that she was his sister – which was a half-truth by the way [See Gen. 20:12] – he might escape murder.) Trace Abram’s route to Egypt from the Negev on your map. What happened when he got to Egypt? (vs. 14-16 Sure enough, the Egyptians were taken with Sarai’s beauty and she was taken into the palace of the Pharaoh. This means she became part of his harem and was one of his wives.) We read as a result of this Abram was treated well. So well that he became rich from the presents of sheep, cattle, donkeys, servants and camels. How did God clear up the confusion and rescue Sarai? (vs. 17-19 All of a sudden a terrible disease struck Pharaoh and all of the people in his household. We presume that Sarai and Abram were untouched – which would have given Pharaoh a clue as to what the problem was.) How did Pharaoh feel about the deception of Abram? (vs 18-20. He was rightfully angry and demanded that Abram take Sarai and his household and leave Egypt.
  2. Application
    • What was Abram’s first mistake? (leaving Canaan without instructions from God) What was his second? (Deciding to lie about Sarai to save his own skin.) What do these actions tell you about how seriously Abram believed in the promises of Gen. 12:2,3? (He doesn’t trust God to take care of him or his family. He leaves for Egypt because of the famine, but he doesn’t take time to see how God could provide for him. He evidently doesn’t care about the promise of a son, because he heartlessly dumps his wife so he can save his life. Abram at this time acts like he doesn’t believe God.)
    • What are some of the consequences of Abram’s sin? See how many your family can come up with. Here are some for you to discuss.
      1. Sarai was affected negatively by being illegally given to the Pharaoh for marriage. How must she have felt about Abram after this?
      2. The people of Egypt rather than being positively affected by this man of God were made sick. Abram’s reputation and God’s as well was dishonored by his lie.
      3. Abram weakened his own faith. Later he commits this exact same sin, proving that once you start down the road to sin, it becomes easier and easier to side step God’s commands.
      4. Abram grieved God. Our sin always grieves the Lord. ( See Ps. 78:40; Eph. 4:30)
      5. Hagar becomes Sarai’s maid during their sojourn in Egypt. Later, as we will see, this causes another sin and has repercussions that last even to this day.
      6. He was a bad example for Lot. Abram was selfish and was only trying to take care of himself. Later on Lot does the same thing in another context with a tragic outcome.
      7. He was a bad example to his yet-to-be born son, Isaac. This happened before Isaac was born, but evidently the tale was told to him. He later commits nearly the identical sin with his own wife! (Gen. 26)
    • “You can choose your sin, but you can’t choose your consequences.” How does that saying apply here? First of all, Abram started out doing what seemed to be a logical thing – go find food for himself and his family because of a famine. However, he didn’t consult God. God had told him to go to Canaan and that that land was to be for his family. Egypt in the Bible often stands for the “world”. See Is. 31:1. It is a symbol for depending on something other than God for help.  What are some good verses to remember when we are tempted to not trust in God for guidance and provision? (possible answers: Proverbs 3:5-7; Mt. 6:31-32) Are there worldly influences that are dragging your children down into “Egypt”? Who are they depending on for guidance? Are they characterized by praying for help and encouraging others to do so as well? This is a good time to talk about how sin always takes us father than we want to go.  One wrong choice in Abram’s life affected not just him, but many, many others around him.
  3. Digging Deeper
    1. In a history book such as Streams of Civilization Book One, or on the Net, look up what Egypt was like when Abraham visited there around 2000 BC. Were the pyramids built yet? What was the belief system of the Egyptians at this time? Write up your findings as a “travel brochure” that Abraham “might have” seen inviting him to visit Egypt.
    2. The sin of lying is still as popular today as it was in the days of Abraham.  Do a study on lying. List the reasons people lie, then list what the consequences of lying are especially in the area of relationships.  What does the Bible say about lying? Narrate a personal story about how lying has affected you – either from someone else or your own lies.  Give at least three Bible verses that can help you stay away from the sin of lying.