Reflecting God

Genesis 12:18–20

So Pharaoh summoned Abram and accused him sharply. “What have you done to me?” he demanded. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ and allow me to take her as my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and get out of here!” Pharaoh ordered some of his men to escort them, and he sent Abram out of the country, along with his wife and all his possessions. (Genesis 12:18–20)

ABRAM LIED to Pharaoh to save his own skin, telling him that Sarai was his sister. In doing so, he put her in jeopardy. But where he failed to protect his wife, the Lord overwhelmingly succeeded in doing so. He afflicted Pharaoh and his household with plagues (see Genesis 12:17).

The polytheistic king acknowledged Abram’s God, but not as the one true God. And Pharaoh feared the power of a rival territorial deity. Like most people in his day, he viewed the world through the lens of superstition. This ancient view presumed that the root cause of disease was spiritual, not physical. People believed the only way to cure the patient was to discover which god to appease through sacrifice. When Pharaoh’s home became afflicted with disease, he appeased his own gods with sacrifices and then, having satisfied them (in his mind), assumed he had offended Abram’s God.

Abram should have been morally superior to the king of Egypt, but Pharaoh burned with righteous indignation and scolded God’s man.

Pretty sad conclusion. We can’t help but wonder what kind of opinion Pharaoh had of Abram’s God after that episode. And I wonder the same thing for us today: How many people have yet to embrace the God of the Bible because they continue to live in the shadows created by our moral failures?



When people outside the faith look at your life, what do they see? Does your life present an accurate reflection of the one true God?


Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.


Content taken from FAITH FOR THE JOURNEY , by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2014. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

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Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.