On his journey south he hit popular spots like Bethel and Ai and then there was famine and he ended up in Egypt. Now Sarai is PHAT (physically hot and tempting) and Abram knew that even though the Lord told him to move, the Lord wouldn't really be able to protect his wife or provide for him so he decided that pimping his wife would be more financially beneficial and so he said to Sarai "So please tell them you are my sister. Then they will spare my life and treat me well because of their interest in you.”(Gen 12: 13 NLT)
And sure enough, Abram's plan worked and "When the palace officials saw her, they sang her praises to Pharaoh, their king, and Sarai was taken into his palace. Then Pharaoh gave Abram many gifts because of her—sheep, goats, cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels. (Gen. 12:15-16 NLT)
Unfortunately nothing lasts forever and Abram's half truth was found out and then they were all kicked out of Egypt. To add insult to injury, Lot's servants and Abram's servants started quarreling because there wasn't enough grass for all the animals to feed on. Lot took the better portion of the land and Abram was let in the sticks. A couple of years later Abram had to prepare for war and go and rescue Lot from some shady kings from the East. After the battle was won, does his ungrateful nephew thank him? No. He moves into Sodom and Gomorrah. whew (if only he had listened to the Lord and left Lot behind maybe he wouldn't have had to deal with this in the first place).
Anywayz life settles back down to semi-normal, the Lord makes a covenant with Abram about kids and descendants, but Sarai is fixated on this new technique that trumps invitro-fertilization. Abram thought once more about the Lord's promise, realized that Sarai's servant Hagar would help speed things up so he pops a viagra pill and get's busy with Hagar.
13 years later, the Lord speaks to Abram, actually He appears to him, changes his name to Abraham, promises a child to post menopausal Sarah (also renamed) and blesses him. Lot pops back into the picture and Abraham intercedes for the townspeople of Sodom and G . Unfortunately Abraham sucks at bargaining, didn't go low enough and so Sodom and G is burnt to the ground.
Lot's family flees, his wife forgot her Jimmy Choo's shoes turns around turns into salt. His daughters wanted kids, got their father drunk and slept with him. Incest, whew (if only Abraham had followed the Lord we might have been spared this mess with the Ammonites and the Moabites (Lot's children/grandchildren) that became a constant torn in the side of the Isrealities)
Anywayz, Abraham traumatized by all this mess, moves to Gerar, pimps his wife AGAIN to King Abimelech. He was found out AGAIN, of course and then he turns around and blesses Abimelech.
He moves again, Sarah gives birth to Isaac, he banishes Hagar and Ishmeal (his viagra child) and lives happily ever after???
You see Abraham, like me, still doesn't get it. He likes to have a back-up plan. He likes to help God be God and so " ... it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am." (Gen. 22: 1 KJV)
The Lord said, take your ONLY son and go chop off his head.
Abraham woke up the next morning and took his ONLY son, without telling his interfering beautiful wife Sarah what really was going down, and headed for Mount Moriah.
Isaac thinks his father doesn't have it all together, so respectfully he inquires about the sheep for the sacrifice.
This is the perfect opportunity for Abraham to pause, agree with Isaac about the insanity of this quest and turn around.
This is usually the time Abraham pulls out his hat a lamb or some other back up plan to assist the Lord but surprisingly enough he finally gets it and says "son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” (Gen 22:8)
He finally gets it
and we know how the story ends
how Abraham lives happily
but here is another unfamiliar part we gloss over
(Gen 22:11 MSG) Just then an angel of God called to him out of Heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Yes, I'm listening."
what would have happened if Abraham wasn't listening?
what would have happened if Abraham was too ticked off at God to listen to him that day?
what would have happened if the last thing Abraham heard from the Lord was that he should
Abraham would have killed Isaac and believed he was following the will of God
so in conclusion
back up plans are wonderful for your peace of mind but always back fire when God is concerned
Faith is easy and cool when you have a back up plan.
Faith is hard and involves total surrender when you don't have one.
Listening is crucial at every point, every single point in your walk with God.
unless otherwise noted the translation is NKJV