To Abraham (part 3)
God made an amazing promise to Abram in Genesis 12:3, that “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you,” starting with Abram’s very own son and heir – which made the promise even more amazing, because Abram didn’t have any children and he was already in his 70’s.
“Yet,” Romans 4:20-21, “he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he promised.” For which, verse 22, “it was credited to him as righteousness.”
So God had a clear purpose in going this route, promising a childless old man he would have children, and then strengthening the man’s belief in that promise so he’d be “fully persuaded” in God being able to fulfill it.
So what was God’s purpose, then? According to verse 16, it was to set up Abram as “the father of us all.” Meaning, this is the route God is taking all of us. This is how Abram would have many children, not only in physical descendants, but also in millions of people being strengthened in their belief in God’s promises and his power to fulfill those promises, just like God did for him.
The result being many millions of Abram’s “children” being “credited with righteousness” just like he was. Abram was simply the first to be given unwavering belief in the God of promises and “it was credited to him as righteousness,” verse 22 – but, verses 23-24, “The words ‘It was credited to him as righteousness’ were written not for him alone, but also for us.”
So in Abram God was setting up a pattern, a process, that would show us humans how he would view us as righteous in his sight. Which surely is the most important piece of information we humans need to know, because our view of God and our relationship with him has been abysmal. But now we see in Abram how God has ‘set us all to rights’ – or credited us with righteousness – by us simply believing he’s a God who fulfills his promises.
And God will strengthen our belief in that, because in us he’s proving his promise to Abram is true, that he did have many children, who just like him are being credited with righteousness for their belief as well…(more on this tomorrow)