To Abraham (part 2)
Ten years of waiting for God to fulfill his promise in Genesis 12:7 to give the land of Canaan to Abram’s offspring – and still no offspring. So it looked like Eliezer, born into Abram’s household, was the ‘son and heir’ God had in mind. But “Not so,” says God, “a son coming from your own body will be your heir,” Genesis 15:4.
Think that’s impossible, Abram? Then come outside, look up and count all the stars you can see, because if I can make all those stars possible, it’s just as possible for me to make as many offspring for you too. So quit looking for shortcut solutions for a son and heir down here, Abram, and look up. The power that made those stars is your solution.
And Abram gets the point, thanks to God giving him the assurance he lacked. It’s what “believed” means in verse 6. Abraham “believed” God, the Hebrew word meaning certainty, like knowing for certain you can lean your whole weight on something and it will hold, like lake ice, or a fallen tree bridging a stream.
Or in Abram’s case, that he could lean his whole weight on God’s promise to give him a son, and it would hold. And of course it would hold. If God could create thousands of stars he could create thousands of children. And in Abram’s mind that was enough.
But it was God who got him to this point, and enabled him to believe. So why did he do that for Abram? Because (verse 6 still) in “Abram believing the Lord, he was credited with righteousness.” For believing in God being a God of promises, with the commitment and power to make his promises happen, Abram was the first human in history to be considered righteous for his belief. And that was a pivotal moment for all humanity, because it set in concrete all through the rest of Scripture and human history The Great Promise from the God of promises, that anyone following Abram’s example of belief would also be considered righteous.
But what’s so great about being credited with righteousness? Because that’s what God wants for all of us, the chance to get “back to rights” with him, so we can experience getting back to what he created us for. And where that begins for us is the same place it began for Abram, being faced with amazing promises that God enables us to believe too…(more on this tomorrow)