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Volume 10 - Page 46 of 162 Index | Zoom | |
the desert. Abraham was called "the friend of God", and Moses was never so great as
when he renounced the treasures of Egypt. May the true spirit of altar and tent, of
pilgrimage and strangership be more fully entered into by us all, that the name of the
Lord may be magnified.
#26. Gaps in the Calendar of Faith (Gen. 12: 10-20).
pp. 38 - 42
We noticed in our last article the fundamental lesson of separation as it is exhibited in
the case of Lot and Abram; we are now to see Abram in yet another light, and most
heart-searching lesson awaits us.
"And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there,
for the famine was grievous in the land."
One of the lessons that we all have to learn is expressed in the words of Deut. 8::--
"Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years
in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart,
whether thou wouldest keep His commandments or no, and He humbled thee, and
suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy
fathers know, that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by
every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. Thy raiment
waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years; thou shalt also
consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord chasteneth thee."
Perhaps the strongest test of the faith indicated in these occurrences is the character of
the manna, "which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know"; faith trusts apart
from sight or knowledge, but sense yearns for something substantial, not realizing that
"faith is the substance of things hoped for". We must not judge by some rule of thumb,
for each case has its own peculiar position in the purpose of God. When on another
occasion a famine swept over Canaan, and the sons of Jacob went down to Egypt, we can
see that it was part of a Divine plan to bring about God's own purpose; and again, when
Herod sought to kill the infant Christ, Joseph and Mary found refuge in Egypt at the
command of an angel of God. Whether, therefore, Abram should have remained in
Canaan in spite of the famine, or whether he was right to go to Egypt, it is not for us to
say, one thing comes prominently out of the story, and that is the terrible effect upon the
pilgrim of faith a close proximity to the world can have.
"And it came to pass when he was come near to enter Egypt, that he said unto Sarai
his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon; therefore it shall
come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife and
they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister; that it
may be will with me for thy sake, and my soul shall live because of thee."
Bishop Hall's pithy comment is worth repeating:--