3rd December – Genesis 15:1-6
Abram was a man perplexed. He knew God had spoken to him. Previously God had promised him that he would be a great nation and that all the people of the earth will be blessed through him (Genesis 12:1-3). This incredible promise was the foretelling of the birth of Christ. In response he left his own country.
Now, years later God gives a broadening revelation & promise – his offspring will be as numerous as the stars. As instructed, Abram went outside his tent and looked up at the night sky. Without light pollution he would have seen a vast number of stars. Of course a later revelation of grains of sand equating to the number of stars would have seemed incongruous. But as we understand more we realise that there is an incredible vastness to God’s creation. His response? “Abram believed the Lord”.
Being right with God can be seen through the experiences of the old patriarchs. In Noah’s case we are told it was by grace (Gen 6:8); for Abram it was belief/faith (Gen 15:6). Both are essential for us to connect with God. One stresses the divine side, the other our human response. Salvation is through faith, by grace, unto righteousness (Rom 4:3; Gal 3:6; Jam 2:23). Our response to God’s grace makes the connection.
Although Abram demonstrated faith through his actions, it was his belief in God, not his actions, that made him right with God. Faith is inner confidence that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He’ll do.
And here, years after the initial promise, Abram is still childless. Without one heir, he is called “great father”. Later, whilst still childless, his name is changed to Abraham meaning “father of many nations” (Gen 17:4-6).
Hope deferred can be tough. It can feel like a long slog! Yet “against hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him” (Rom 4:18). Promises fulfilled, dreams realised because he trusted. Faith changes disappointed hope. All because Abraham’s response to God was “Yes”!