“Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.”
When things run off course, catastrophic results can occur. For instance, when a train leaves its tracks or a plane veers off the runway, bad things happen. The same is true for our lives…when we lose our vision and focus we can run off course, lose direction and make big mistakes.
Reputations are easily tarnished and hard earned positions of influence can be quickly forfeited. When these things happen to believers the cause of the Lord suffers a setback, as we become easy targets of ridicule and abuse.
After Abram arrived in Canaan, a severe famine required his moving from where he was living. There is no indication that Abram should have gone to Egypt, but common sense dictated he should (Gen. 12:10). But once there, Abram got off course. He lost sight of the Lord’s care, and his faith was conquered by fear.
Fear can cause us to do many things we might not typically do under normal circumstances. Fear led Abram to tell half truths, which amounted to lies embarrassing Pharaoh and ultimately leading to Abrams expulsion from Egypt. Sad and more wise, Abram and his groups traveled to the Negev…then continued by stages toward Bethel, where Abram built an altar, and once again worshipped the Lord.
Once Abram again worshipped the Lord, he was faced with a decision, which may have been a test of faith, concerning the land in which they were staying. It became obvious the land was not capable of sustaining his herd as well as Lot’s herd. This led to both sides arguing and so Abram stepped forward with a solution. Abram told Lot to select whichever direction he wanted and he would take the other.
As Lot surveyed the land, he saw the Jordan Valley was well watered so he chose to take this prime valley for himself and travelled east. As a result Abram settled for the less appealing property. Abram could have once again taken matters into his own hands and reminded Lot which of them was the chosen one and which of them was along for the ride. But he didn’t. Abram realized even though the Promised Land didn’t look very promising, the Lord would be faithful in all He had said.
Abram’s fear in Egypt had brought him to the brink of disaster and he had learned a bitter lesson as a result. Even being driven away from Egypt, as terrifying as it might have been, was proving to be a blessing because it had propelled him back to worshipping God.
We are all capable of running off course, especially in times of fear or anxiety…it happens to all of us. However, the wise person knows when to recognize they are off course and the fact they need to get back on track…then takes the steps to do so.
ARE YOU STAYING ON TRACK? Which track are you on? Are you running on the rail of faith or the rail of fear?