Genesis 12 tells the story of when Abram met God. God had a great plan for Abram–a plan to bless him beyond his wildest dreams, to give him a vast and fruitful land, to make him the father of a great nation. This what God said to him:
Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.
So Abram left. Wouldn’t you? What an incredible promise from God! Abram took his wife and everyone in his household and set out for Canaan. He entered the land God promised him and immediately made an altar to the Lord. Then he wandered around the land, scoping out his new home, and built a couple more altars to God.
But then he left. He walked away from the land God had promised him and went down to Egypt. Why? Because “there was a famine in the land.” Not just any famine, mind you, but a “severe” one. So Abram made a practical decision to move to Egypt for a while, at least until the famine relented. I contend that it was the wrong decision.
Abram made a practical decision borne out of the physical reality of the famine. He did not make a decision based on faith borne out of God’s promise to 1) give him this land, 2) make him a great nation, and 3) bless him. Abram abandoned the promise of God for the security of Egypt. He forsook God’s blessing that he might enjoy the blessings of Pharaoh. Abram let a famine, not the God who had spoken to him a blessing and a promise, determine his reality.
It would be decades before Abram would learn that barrenness of land and womb are a small thing to God. Don’t let a famine dictate your reality. God can bring water from a rock and food from the sky. Don’t leave the land you’ve been promised to pursue safety in Egypt. Egypt is the land of slavery, not security. Don’t let pragmatism replace faith. Don’t let the famine steal your blessing or promise. God is bigger than your famine. His promise will outlast it. His blessing is greater than this trial. Persevere through faith and lay claim to God’s promise and his blessing.