When Abram and Sarai first left the land of Ur, Abram asked Sarai that whenever they went through foreign lands, she was to say that he was her brother. (Genesis 20:13) Sarai agreed. Though it was not a complete lie since he was in fact her half-brother, both of them had to know it was not a God-honoring pact.
When famine struck the land of Canaan where Abram and Sarai dwelt, Abram made the decision to go to Egypt and dwell there. As they neared Egypt, Abram reminded Sarai of their earlier agreement. He pointed out her obvious beauty and fear that the Egyptians might kill him if they found out he was married to her.
Sure enough, she attracted the attention of the princes of Pharoah and was taken to Pharaoh’s palace.
Imagine how frightened Sarai must have been, to be separated from Abram and placed in a pagan environment. It was only a matter of time before she would be called into Pharaoh’s private chambers. Why didn’t Abram protect her? How could he take their gifts in good conscience?
Fortunately, though her husband had abandoned her, God had not. He plagued Pharaoh’s household until Pharaoh confronted Abram. Sarai was returned to Abram, and they were kicked out of Egypt.
Abram was a good man, but he wasn’t always watching out for Sarai’s best interests. If we put our faith in other people, they will let us down. No matter how good they may be, they are human, and they will fail us. Only God can be trusted to always have our best interests. When the rest of the world fails us, he is watching out for us.
Sarai in Egypt: Genesis 12:10-20