When you read this chapter within the context of Harvey Weinstein it becomes very troubling. But if you take it within the context of prehistoric events, it becomes one of the most important chapters in all of Scripture. You find Abraham who is given a promise by God that his family will be blessed unconditionally. He doesn’t say: Abram, if you do my will then I will bless you. He doesn’t say: Abram, if you follow my commandments then I will bless you. He doesn’t say: Abram, if you sell all that you have, quit your job, and live in the desert then I will bless you. No, simply because Abram was soon to be Abraham is he blessed. God gives him a glimpse of what he will be inheriting and what his children will be able to call their own as we finish vs.9.
Then things start to go crooked. It seems like every time that the Lord promises something to us we then go the wrong way or make a really bad decision. Abram is nervous because he is about to go into Egypt because of a famine (notice a theme?). The Egyptians were people who historically had helped others out, but remember, we are in prehistoric times and people can do whatever they want. People could make up their own laws and take advantage of their office to mistreat others, and can use their power to get whatever they wanted. It seems like not much has changed over these thousands of years.
But in his fear he decides, and Sara plays along, to tell people that Sara is his sister because that way no one would kill him in order to get to his wife. She was beautiful, after all. She must have been really beautiful. So Pharaoh takes Sarah as his wife. In this account it doesn’t say that he stayed away from her. In fact, it seems like quite the opposite is true. He took her into his bed as his wife. I would think that is a problem for Abram, but it doesn’t seem to be. The king gets angry when he breaks out into all kinds of sickness and is angry with him, but not the kind of anger I would think a king would have if this had happened. He was probably more scared of Abram than anything, so sent him away with all the riches he had acquired. Abram made out okay, but at what cost?