My Old Testament professor, several weeks ago, flashed a picture he had taken while on vacation: “Will Sell Wife for Beer” and went on to assert that this is how Abraham treated his wife, Sarai, in Egypt and later Sarah (she and Abram had been renamed by then) with Abimelech, king of Gerar.
You see, Abraham was only looking out for himself; he was only concerned with his well-being. I am not saying that Abraham didn’t love Sarah, for I am sure he did. I am saying that he was willing to “sell her for beer”—willing to sacrifice his integrity and faith for safety and food.
God had promised to bless Abraham and make him a great nation and through him to bless the whole world. How could Abraham, knowing this, not trust God to protect and provide for he and Sarah?
I don’t have an answer for that, but before we (I) get too self-righteous, how many times have we taken matters into our own hands because we were impatient or didn’t believe God? In fact, isn’t impatience just disbelief? It’s easy to point the finger at Abraham, whose misdeeds are on full display in the pages of Scripture—I, for one, would not want my life so recorded! But, in the midst of this we also have to remember that this is the same man who was willing to sacrifice Isaac, putting the promise of God at risk (I will make you a great nation1).
In this world, it is easy to give into the pressures of today, and we find ourselves willing to “sell ______ for _________” because we don’t see another way and we forget what Jesus said, Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.2 Or as Jesus said elsewhere, Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?…but seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.3 We don’t need to sell (compromise)… We have all we need.
3Matthew 6:25 & 33