Abram's indiscretions

It fascinates me how honest and real the bible is. It tells us how it was and never white-washes the indiscretions of great people for the sake of a divine reputation. It is to God's own glory that He could achieve so much with such imperfect souls and it is to our benefit that He is willing to do so. The king of Egypt thought Sarai was a great beauty and Abram disclaimed her as his sister to protect his own skin. He did that twice, but Sarai seemed to understand him better than we can and certainly God remained silent on the matter, except insofar as such incidents were recorded in scripture.

Then came a defining moment when Sarai convinced Abram to sire a son through her handmaid. The boy, Ishmael strove with Abram's eventual heir and became a fugitive. Centuries later Ishamel's children would still be a major thorn in the side of Isaac's decsendants. His indiscretion assumed the possibility of compromising on God's promise to ensure a male heir to Abram. It gave him a son alright, but plenty of troubles besides.

Sarai eventually so despised the proud arrogance of Hagar, Ishmael's mother, that she banished the woman from Abram's camp. Yet God blessed Ishmael anyway, for he was Abram's offspring. Abram's indiscretion was costly, yet so are the compromises we make in pursuit of God's promises. He is faithful to fulfill all His promises, but equally resolute in making us live with the consequences of our short-sightedness.

The life and times of Abraham (c) P Eleazar,

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