Saturday, January 6

Great faith and great failure

Scripture: Genesis 11-12, Luke 6

Genesis 12:4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

Genesis 12:18 So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?”

Observation

Our introduction to Abram is twofold. 

First, we see faith and radical obedience. God calls Abram to go, to leave his country, kindred and father’s house and go to a land God would show him. Imagine doing the same. Such radical obedience would require a deep faith in God. 

Second, we see a lack of faith and shocking moral failure. To save his own skin, Abram pimps his wife, Sarai. He lies and says she is his sister because he fears that her beauty will cause the Egyptians to eliminate him to get her. Big time failure!

What happened to Abram’s faith in God? Maybe it took a hit when he got to the land of Canaan and landed in a famine and needed to move on to Egypt. It wouldn’t be the only time a saint’s faith was shaken by circumstances. 

As I read the story, I wondered why the Egypt incident was included. It is not flattering for our hero. My conclusion: God wants us to see that His saints, the heroes of our faith, are imperfect, broken and capable of both great faith and great failures.

Application

The fact that the best among us are capable of both great faith and great failure is not an excuse to fail, but a reminder to be grateful to God for His grace, and to extend it to ourselves and others. 

I certainly never want to trade on God’s grace, to turn it into an excuse or license for sin. That misses the point entirely.

I want to remember my own humanity and brokenness and that of others as well—and be gracious. And I want to aware of my own weaknesses and keep trusting Jesus. If Abram could bomb, so can I. 

I am capable of great faith and great failure.

Prayer: Lord help me to live more on the faith side of the ledger and less on the failure side! Thank you for Your grace that accepts and works with broken people like Abram—and me.