How far are we able to take care of the Revelation that God has given us?

Understanding the Processes of Revelation: Walking in faith to establish Revelation through our actions

As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. Genesis 17:4-5

There are stories in the Holy Scriptures that to Western eyes seem absurd and meaningless, difficult to understand why the biblical writer decided to include it in the story. There are even stories that go beyond the Western morality with which we are used to interpreting the biblical text.

The telling of the story of Abraham presenting his wife as his sister is a good example of this kind of story.

This story is a case that has had no major interpretation on the reason why Abraham -and Sarah- decided, not once but twice, to fabricate a falsehood to escape the sight of those before whom the circumstances of the moment exposed them.

There will be no lack of those who, in a daring way, think that it was a human “weakness” that weakened the faith of both, and that it was more opportune to present a “half-truth” than to expose oneself to the possibility of suffering harm from these strange peoples.

So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran…   11And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: 12 therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. 13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee. Genesis 12:11-13

The above argument might be a reasonable explanation the first time, considering that Abraham and Sarah had just begun to know Jehovah-God,

And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him. Genesis 12:7

However, the argument loses its validity for the second time that they both repeat the fact, if we take into account that just before the fact is repeated, Jehovah-God had demanded Abraham to walk in perfection: to present a falsehood is not to walk in perfection,

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. Genesis 17:1

The writer is wise to note that when Jehovah-God demands that Abraham walk in perfection, Abraham is only ninety-nine years old, that is, one year before Isaac is born. Just a couple of months later Abraham and Sarah are exposed to the same falsehood again,

And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. Genesis 20:1-2

The explanation that Abraham presented on this occasion was that he acted in such a way because he was afraid of being killed —actually, it was the explanation of both—,

11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake. 12 And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. 13 And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother. Genesis 20:11-13

If the reader looks closely at the facts of the story, he will notice that between the first and second time Abraham presents Sarah as his sister there is approximately twenty-five years between the two events; the reader will also notice that during all that time at no time did the two decide to change the argument, Why?

The fact can only be understood from the perspective of faith in which both are walking.

Let us review these facts from the faith and Revelation in which they both walk. Abraham confessed the first time: therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.[1] Twenty-five years later, the explanation is still the same: And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake.[2]

This explanation, sustained for almost twenty-five years, acquires meaning and validity-and explains by itself-through another passage in Abraham’s life, through the question that Abraham asks Jehovah-God when they both made a covenant establishing Revelation. In the dialogue, Abraham asks the Lord: what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?[3]

But the most convincing part, and the one that explains the reason in Abraham and Sarah to hold before strangers the explanation that Sarah is his sister, is what Abraham adds: Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.[4]

Why did Abraham introduce Sarah as his sister? Was Abraham afraid to die? Was Abraham selfish in acting this way?

Abraham presented Sarah as his sister, indeed, because he feared that strangers, the Egyptians the first time, and then the Philistines the second time, would kill him; but not because he was selfish, nor because he wanted to take advantage of his wife; but because they both knew that if he died before procreating a child, God’s promise, that He would make him a great nation, and that his seed would inherit that land,[5]  and that in his seed the families of the earth would be blessed,[6] would be aborted; leaving Sarah no possibility of becoming the mother of nations.[7]

When one reads this part of the story of Abraham, it is almost impossible not to forge a prejudiced conception, of seeing Abraham as a selfish man and even almost as a man without scruples, as a man of God who uses his wife, and at her expense presents a lie in order to get out of a mess.

How far are we capable of caring for the Revelation that God has given us? Are we capable of suffering slander and defamation in order to keep Revelation alive?

This is the case of Abraham and Sarah, who both before the Egyptian people and the Philistines were left as unethical for having lied; however, God counted as justice not only their act of believing, but more, having been willing to take it to the levels of exposing themselves even to slander and defamation, because they saw that in their lives they carried a deposit of Revelation from Jehovah-God; therefore God made a covenant with him,

And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness. Genesis 15:4-6

The answer helps us to understand the faith of both, and the extent to which they exposed themselves by caring for the Revelation that God had given them.

Jesus, the son of Abraham in whom the families of the earth are blessed, reaffirmed in His doctrine the faith and action of Abraham, when He said: And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.[8]  The cross is disrepute, defamation, shame, sorrow, sacrifice, exposure to strangers.

The path of faith and the life of Revelation can only be carried out by those who understand that its development will demand sacrifices from them, to the point of falling even into dishonour and defamation.

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:4-8

How do we want God to make a covenant with us, and give us Revelation, if we are not willing to expose ourselves to the limits of discredit, in order to take care that the Revelation we bear from God is executed? To what extent are we capable of taking care of the Revelation that God has given us?


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All biblical quotations are taken from the King James Version.


Pastor Pedro Montoya

Twitter: @pastormontoya

WhatsApp 1 407 764 2699

[1] Genesis 12:12

[2] Idem 20:11

[3] Idem 15:2

[4] Idem 15:3

[5] Idem 13:15; 15:4; 15:18—21; 17:21

[6] Idem 12:3;

[7] Idem 17:16

[8] Luke 14:27