The transition between Israel’s primeval history and patriarchal history began when Moses narrowed in on Abram and his family. Moses introduces Abram in the beginning of this chapter as a man chosen of God and called for a special redemptive purpose. This is the next stage in the germination of the gospel. Recall the kernel planted in Genesis 2:15, the Seed of the woman who will crush the serpent’s head. This Redeemer will be a descendant of Abram!
While the man Abram may not have known that at the time and certainly had no idea of Jesus the Christ, his reckoned as righteous meant he submitted to God’s command to relocate to the land of Canaan. While Abram was reckoned as righteous by God Himself, he remains a justified sinner and prone to error.
In this section, we are introduced to Abram’s sin, a folly with which he will wrestle throughout his life. When a famine strikes the land of Canaan, Abram does not stop to listen for God’s advice, but instead plans to sojourn in Egypt. While there, he fears that his beautiful wife, Sarai, might be lusted over by the Egyptians. Again, instead of trusting in God for guidance, he once again devises a plan. Putting his faith and hope in himself, Abram brings a dreadful plague on Pharaoh’s house. In this, we see God’s own faithfulness prevailing over and against the unfaithfulness of His chosen ones. We also see God’s faithfulness to His own creation mandates of the sanctity of marriage, covenants, life, and property.