Read Genesis 12
Focus on verse 11-13
It is not uncommon for us to make poor decisions when we find ourselves in frightening situations. Abram appears to be no different, but before we get too hard on him, consider his circumstance. He is in a strange new land as a fugitive from a famine. He does not know the culture nor if the people of Egypt will be hospitable or hostile. It would seem he is under a bit of stress so he caves in to the fear (notice that he does not build an alter, nor inquire of God) and he cooks up a scheme on his own. It involves some deception in the form a lie regarding his wife Sarai, though technically she may have been a close relative, she was also his wife.
When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know 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, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” (v. 11-13)
God, interestingly, inflicts the punishment on Pharaoh, not Abram, resulting in Pharaoh being somewhat upset but also mindful not to lay a hand on Abram, and sends him away.
Several issues come to mind here, not the least of which is would God not have been equally able to protect Abram from Pharaoh if Abe had been honest about his wife?
Was it God’s intention for Abram to go to Egypt in the first place on account of the famine? There are some unanswered questions that seem to indicate that this is part of a faith building adventure in which God uses Abram’s failures to teach him about His own faithfulness.