I would like to use Genesis 12 (and an interesting post by Aaron B from BCC) to examine the inverse of Elder Oak’s famous talk ‘Good, Better and Best’. Simply stated Abraham was married to Sarai (who was apparently pretty hot!) and Pharoah was going to want to marry her. His choice: either die as her husband and have his wife forced into marriage (in effect raped) or live as her ‘brother’ and have his wife forced into marriage (and in effect raped). What to do?
Although I agree with Elder Oak in principle, I suspect that some of the decisions that I make will be of this more negative order. Moreover, these will most probably be the more painful of the two types. Lets consider the possible impact in Abraham and Sarai’s lives (and these might be possible questions to raise in SS if you can get them to cover this episode):
- How did Sarai feel about Abraham’s choice?
- How did Abraham feel about his choice, especially as he became wealthy as a result of such an act?
- Did they tell Isaac?
- Could Sarai have refused and how did Abraham feel about her not refusing?
Now if Nibley were here he might argue that this is merely a devilish trick to make us choose between two equally evil propositions (which is worse crack or heroine), but there is always a third choice. If this is true then what was Abraham’s other choice?
Finally, is there any possible spiritual benefit in such choices? Can any good come from them?
To my mind I feel that my life is a constant series of these types of choices and thus I am constantly given the choice between conflicting options that inevitably will lead to some negativity. Perhaps I am just a half-empty kinda guy but I feel for Abraham.
My questions then are these:
Are there situations where there are only choices which are bad, worse and worst? Or can we always escape such decisions?
If so, is this possible a spiritually useful situation or do we just have to move through such experiences seeking forgiveness where we can?