Cause and Effect

When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. 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)

Every decision has a cause and effect. Think of decisions you have made today. Your hope is that the outcome will be beneficial. As you move forward, your hope is that God will bless your decisions. 

Abram made two very serious decisions that put him and his wife in serious jeopardy. He chose to make decisions outside of God’s will. Deciding to go to Egypt placed him under Pharaoh’s control. 

How often do we fall into the sin of presumption? We fail to do the first right thing, which is seeking the Lord and waiting for Him until He gives us instruction. Some biblical examples of men who failed to seek the Lord at one point or another are Joshua, Jonah, Saul, and Peter. Each one suffered negative consequences for not seeking the Lord first. Matthew 6:33 (ESV) says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Abram put Sarai in an extremely vulnerable and compromising position where she could be hurt and taken advantage of. Abram asked Sarai, his wife, to offer a half-lie about their relationship to the Egyptians. He was attempting to save his own skin. When we fall into lying and falsehood, it progressively leads to more compromises and larger messes. 

But God’s plan is not thwarted by our lies or mistakes. He made promises to Abram, and although Abram momentarily embraced sin and deception, God intervened—not only to protect Sarai and Abram, but also to protect the promise He made.  

God graciously watched over His servant. He also watches over our lives for the sake of His name. What a good Father and Shepherd He is to always keep us! His promises may seem to be delayed, and yet He remembers His promises and answers right on time. He is always true to His name.

Every day ask the Lord for wisdom and wait for His leading before you make any decision, big or small. He will speak. Watch and see what He will do. 

“Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!”—Psalm 107:8 (ESV)

DIG: How are you at decision making? Do you seek the Lord’s counsel first or do you tend to go your own way?

DISCOVER: Is there anything you have done or are experiencing presently that is a direct cause of an unwise decision? Do you need to ask the Lord to forgive you and help you work it out?

DO: Start to pray forward by asking the Lord about the next decisions you will make. This is the first step to making right decisions.

About the Author

Jeff Seward