Why did you say, ‘She’s my sister,’ so that I made her my wife? Now, here’s your wife. Take her and go!” (Genesis 12:19 CEB)
Some biblical writers are incredible storytellers. Some, not so much. This writer falls in the latter category.
Here we have an incredible story of a family, receiving a message from God, following that voice through deserts, into a promised land, only to turn to famine, then move on to Egypt, where this couple has to hide their love for one another just to survive. Imagine what a painful conversation that must have been (vv 11-12), walking into a city knowing that your wife is going to be taken because of her beauty. How did Abram sleep, not knowing where his wife was?
Pharoah, of course, blames Abram for the plagues. Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? As if anyone believed for one minute that Pharoah would have left her be if she was married. As Abram predicted, Pharoah likely would have taken Sarai and had Abram killed. Perhaps Abram and Sarai were simply scapegoats. Perhaps the plagues came because Pharoah was kidnapping women for his harem. Or any other injustice. Or, maybe, the plagues came because of dirty water, or airborne disease, as all plagues do.
It is important to reflect on what has happened in order to move forward, but sometimes, things just happen. If we dwell on looking for a cause, a reason, especially when circumstances are beyond our control, we can miss the big picture, and ignore what could be an insidious systemic justice.
Scapegoats distract us. Is there something I am deliberately using as a distraction?
Day 6: Genesis 12:1-20
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