Reading Genesis 12-13 today. What a blessing it is to read the narrative of ordinary people trying to find their way in life and doing their best to obey God. In these stories we see how God intervenes and we can learn something about our own life. In Gen 12, Abraham, on his way to God's promise, makes camp in a place between Bethel and Ai. Then due to a famine, Abraham moves his family to Egypt. Abraham, who is still young in his faith, makes a few mistakes at this point. Just like all of us. First God did not tell him to go to Egypt, so Abraham gets off track. Second, Abraham did not look to God for provision during the famine and instead looks to Egypt to save his family. Third, Abraham lies to Pharaoh about his wife. The results are that Pharoah's household is cursed and Abraham, his family, and all their possessions are forcibly removed from Egypt. What does Abraham do at this point? Gen 13 tells us that he returns to the campsite between Bethel and Ai, the place where he had built an alter to the Lord. This is a pattern we can follow.
What do we do when we get off track? Where can we go when things go wrong, when we feel lost, when we can't hear from God or we're uncertain about the next step? We have to go back to where we got off track. Go back to where you last heard from God. Go back to the point before you lost your way. Alters are a reminder of the things God has done in our lives. They are a symbol that God is here with his people. Go back to that place and wait on the Lord. Go back to doing the things which God last spoke to you. Abraham continued to grow in his faith because he went back to the alter and moved forward from there. That's a great lesson for us as well.