Long, long before the days of frozen sperm, if you were going to have children, you had to be alive to create your progeny. God had promised Abram that he was going to ‘make him into a great nation’ (Genesis 12 v 2). There was no room for doubt in that promise – Abram was going to have to produce at least one heir for the promise to be fulfilled.
So why, when famine struck, (v10) and he decided to take refuge in Egypt, did Abram think his life was under threat? Maybe he made a poor decision to go to Egypt at all – God could have protected him in Canaan. Whatever – using deceit to protect himself was not the best plan he’d ever come up with. He told his wife Sarai to pretend to be his sister, not his wife, to make his own position more prestigious and less precarious. She must have been a rare beauty!
In the finish, God did protect them, mistakes and all, and they left Egypt losing nothing but their integrity (v20).
One thing I noticed, though. The promise had been made to Abram. He was the one who was going to become a great nation. In the natural and in their culture, any wife would do. Not in God’s eyes. For him, she was every bit as important. He protected her when Abram had made her vulnerable.
A while back, we went to a conference, and in one session were asked to spend some time quietly meditating on Psalm 139. One Japanese lady began sobbing. Her parents had rejected her because they wanted a boy, but she was overwhelmed that God had made her the way he wanted her to be; that as a woman, she was precious to him.
God doesn’t make junk. We all have a purpose and a value. We are all precious to God.