Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for awhile because the famine was severe.Genesis 12:10
There is not a word here about asking God's permission to go down to Egypt. Abram took counsel, not from God, but from his fears alone. To use a contemporary expression, he
pushed the panic button, and down to Egypt he went. It was fear that drove him.
If the land is a symbol for us of the life of fellowship with a living Christ, then a famine in the land is any circumstance that threatens our dependence upon Him. It is any circumstance that makes faith difficult to maintain. Have you ever experienced such a famine? Have you been living in the full joy of fellowship with Christ, and the strength of God is your portion, and suddenly some circumstance beyond your control makes it difficult to maintain that fellowship? It may be a new boss who turns out to be an ogre; it may be neighbors who throw their garbage over the back fence; or a tiger of a mother-in-law who comes to live with you. It is always some difficult circumstance of life that makes it hard to maintain fellowship with Christ. Perhaps it is hard and demanding labor that leaves you little time for cultivating the spirit. It may be a bitter disappointment that crushes you, and your heart aches so that you can hardly find strength for prayer and fellowship. It may be depressing surroundings that are hard to rise above. It may be misunderstood motives—you meant to do good and someone took it wrong, and you have been cut to the quick. In short, it is any temptation that seems more than you can bear, which threatens to cut off your very strength, your fellowship with Christ.
When this occurs, the temptation is to flee rather than to stick it out. We do not enjoy trials like this, and we try to get away physically, if we can. We move to another neighborhood, change jobs, take a trip, or go home to mother. If we simply cannot flee physically, we try to run away mentally. We escape the unpleasant reality by a flight into fantasy. There is so much of this being done today—some retreat into a mental Egypt where life seems much more pleasant than it is in reality. Whenever we attempt to satisfy the spirit by the same resources that worldlings have at their command, we have gone down to Egypt.
Father, how many times must I confess to You I have been down in Egypt. Help me to see that only in You, the living God, is there an abundance of supply, and You wait to reveal that supply to any heart that will give up its wanderings and searchings and cast itself upon You and rest there.
As we walk through life we always come to tough or difficult situations. Do we try to physically retreat or mentally escape, or do we trust our Lord to carry us thru them?