Bad Choices Back to all sermons


Date: August 5, 2018

Speaker: Sean Grossman

Series: Genesis

Scripture: Genesis 12:10–12:20

  • Genesis 12:10-20
  • Abram and Sarai in Egypt

10 Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.”

(Genesis 12:10-13, ESV)

14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. 16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.

(Genesis 12:14-16, ESV)

17 But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife. 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? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.” 20 And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.

(Genesis 12:17-20, ESV)

  • Main Point
  • This story reflects on Abram’s brief stay in Egypt
  • Despite Abram being at fault, he still is blessed from the experience
  • It is a reminder of God’s promise to Abram, that he would be with him
  • Application Points
  • Bad Choices

We find interesting things about the patriarchs

In particular, we find they are human

They are like us, making both good and bad choices

While Abram had previously made a good choice

Despite making the good choice to be obedient to God, he here makes a poor choice

He puts his wife in harm’s way, lying in order to do it

The whole scheme led to everyone getting hurt in some way

Whether Pharaoh, Sarai, or Abram, all experience the repercussions of Abram’s choice

  • Application Points
  • Bad Choices (2)

Isn’t this very much like us?

One can think of many ways in which the reasoning used by Abram is often used by us

Maybe by those who want more people in Church and throw out theology and Bible and substitute it for stories, fog machines, lasers, and the whole concert set up

It’s like Abram, thinking of a problem, and coming up with a human solution which only leads to sorrow

While such thoughts might lead people to Church, it does not mean they will understand or know Jesus

If we’re not actively seeking God, in accordance with the Scriptures, then what will occur other than those who do not know God?

Thus, it leads to a people who think they know God better

It leads to apathetic people, to people who believe they are close to God yet far from him…a people much like we see today

  • Application Points
  • Bad Choices (3)

It’s similar to what we find in Matthew 12

A demon leaves his “house” (the person he is possessing) and wanders the waste

It decides to go back to it’s house to find everything reordered, put back into place

Seeing it in this state, it re-enters and brings with it seven more who are worse than it

Thus the person is left worse than when the demon was first with it

When we sacrifice faithfulness for worldly means, we see people who start to look better, yet as time goes on they lapse into their old routines, and become even worse than when they first began

It all stems from one poor choice…one poor choice to win people over to Christ by worldly means

When we trust in our own methods rather than God, sacrificing what God calls of us, it all leads to more brokenness

  • Application Points
  • Bad Choices (4)

Let’s imagine something

Let’s imagine Abram is with Sarai going to Egypt

Let’s imagine Abram not forgetting what God had promised

What if he boldly declared the truth

Maybe the problem with Abram is that he thinks God’s power only goes so far? Maybe he believes that God only dwells in Canaan, not in Egypt

We know that henotheism was held at the time

That the different gods belonged to different lands

Maybe Abram has some beliefs like this coming from his pagan background

Maybe this event is the one which puts it all into perspective

Abram is not serving the Lord of Canaan, but the Lord of the whole universe

  • Application Points
  • Bad Choices (5)

This is only speculation, and the truth is all we can do is speculate at certain points

All we can be sure is of the result of his choice

He made a bad choice and because of that had bad results

So there is one thing we can learn from Abram…let’s not do that

Instead, let’s be faithful to God, trusting in His promises

Our God is good, and He has promised to be for us

If this is the case, then we should not seek to be or do anything outside of being faithful to Him

Whether it concerns ministry or not, our God is the God of all, all areas of our lives fall under His sovereignty

He is not only the God of Canaan, but the whole universe, all things

The best choice we can make is to glorify Him

  • Application Points
  • Bad Choices (6)

Yet, before we conclude, there is something more to be said

Have you failed to do this?

Have you been perfect in your obedience to God?

Have you messed up along the way?

Have you, at times, still managed to fall into sin, or been faithless?

Have you tried your own way?

Bad choices have been made

Sometimes you might think, “Wretch that I am!”

Or, “How could God love me when I always befuddle everything!”

Whispers in the dark of failures you seem to have a hard time letting go of

  • Application Points
  • Bad Choices (7)

If this is you, reflect on Abram

Abram did not make the right choice

Does that mean Abram is any less loved by God?

Are all the blessings null and void because of Abram’s failure?


Despite Abram’s humanity and despite his ability to fail, God is still with him

God even afflicts Pharaoh in order for Abram to get back what was lost

Through Abrams failure God showed His greatness in a land where none knew or cared about His Holy Name

  • Application Points
  • Bad Choices (8)

 I suspect many of our failures are just like that

Our God becomes grieved, but that does not mean He does not love us

He may chastise us, but that is for our betterment, because He loves us and His own holy Name

God loves you if you are in Christ

Even when you mess up, He will pick you up Himself and carry you home

If you belong to Jesus, then nothing can take you from His grasp

If we are in Christ then knowing this wont ever lead us to apathy, or a state where we think, “I can do whatever I want!”

Instead, if we are truly in Christ, it will lead us to think, “My God, My God, you deserve all of me, because your love covers me, and washes me, and by grace through faith you are making me more like Jesus despite my failures.”

  • Application Points
  • Bad Choices (9)

The love of God is the greatest motivator to keep going, to trust in Him to get you back on track

Even the realization that something is wrong, that a mistake has been made, that belongs to God as He urges you back under His wing

You taking that first step, that’s His strength in you

It reminds me of something that happened on Friday at VBS with Benny…

  • Application Points
  • Bad Choices (10)

 Isn’t this story much like us as well?

We make a mistake, and instead of running toward God… we fear

We let our embarrassment in

The people at Church will know what I’ve done! I can’t go back…

God knows! I can’t pray

God already knows…and if you are in Christ, He has already forgiven you, and He wants you to learn from the experience, and will welcome you back with loving arms

Remember these things

Remember that our God is for us, even in the moments of our weakness and failure, and that if we belong to His Son He has promised not to give up on us

Seek to love the Lord your God as He deserves to be loved, and learn from the mistakes of Abram, who reminds us that God’s way is the way of truth, faith, and is far better than our own

  • Application Points
  • The Gospel of Christ