Sermon – January 11, 2015

Dysfunctional Families of the Old TestamentMarriage in Difficult Times“, by Rev. Mike Holly

Sermon Series: Dysfunctional Families of the Old Testament

Abram and Sarai are called by God to leave everything they have known and go to a new land. This journey requires them to trust in God alone as they embark into the unknown. And along the way, they encounter difficulty over and over again, according to the stories in Genesis. We begin in Chapter 12 this Sunday as we first meet them (and before they are given the new names of Abraham and Sarah). This is a shocking story, but it is also a story that shows us that human relationships have always faced great hardships.

The marriage of Abram and Sarai is tested here and again with Hagar and Ishmael as well as in a few other places. While they may not always act in a holy manner, they remain intact as a couple throughout these crises. What is it that creates such a bond between them that holds them together through the difficult times?

Significant human relationships, such as marriage, require commitment, love and faithfulness. Without these three, we may find that our relationships unravel at the first signs of trouble. As we read the story of Abram and Sarai this morning, consider your own relationships. How can you recommit to a loved one? How can you overcome the past and become bonded together through commitment, love and faithfulness?

~Mike Holly

The Word

Genesis 12:10-20

Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to reside there as an alien, for the famine was severe in the land. When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know well that you are a woman beautiful in appearance; and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife’; then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, so that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared on your account.” When Abram entered Egypt the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. When the officials 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 and female slaves, female donkeys, and camels.

But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. So Pharaoh called Abram, and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife, take her, and be gone.” And Pharaoh gave his men orders concerning him; and they set him on the way, with his wife and all that he had.

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