God is sure, steady, and able - Andrea Lennon
Abram was plugging along with life and trusting God for a child. This child would lead to a nation that would lead to the Messiah. Waiting is hard! Honestly, it stinks. Our faith is tested in the waiting process as well as our desires. What do we really want out of life?
I am sure Abram had highs and lows, just like us. He probably wondered if he blew it and disqualified himself. He probably wondered if God had really spoken to him. He probably questioned so many things. Can you relate? When you are in a season of waiting, what rises up in you? For me, it is questions and doubts, second-guessing and constant wondering.
That is why today’s Scripture means so much to me. I have studied Genesis 15 a number of times. I have always focused on the details of the covenant process and what it meant for Abram, and what it means for us. Today, my heart is in a much more tender place. As I pour over this passage of Scripture, a lump forms in my throat. My heart beats a little faster. I see God loving, reassuring, and reminding Abram that everything is going to be OK. I wonder if you need to hear that truth today? Do you need to know that God sees you, and everything is going to be OK?
In Genesis 15, we are going to learn that Abram is struggling to trust God in two areas: land and legacy. These are two important themes that run throughout the Old Testament.
Land: God was promising to provide the Promised Land. The Promised Land would be a prime spot of land providing a place for the Nation of Israel to live. In this passage, God is going to enter into covenant with Abram securing the land for Abram’s descendants.
Legacy: The Promise of God to Abram had always been for a descendent. This descendant would provide the line for the Messiah. In this passage, God is going to further clarify the Promise.
Key Points from Genesis 15:1-19
- God is our Shield and our Reward: (Vs. 1) I love that God initiates this encounter in Abram’s life and addresses an issue going on in Abram’s life. God is faithful to meet us at our greatest point of need!
- “Do not be Afraid”: The word “afraid” used in this passage can be used in two ways: In this case, it means “an emotional or intellectual anticipation of harm or danger, the sense of dread.” In a sense, God is saying, “Abram, do not dread the future.” Why should Abram embrace this word from the Lord?
- “I am your shield”: God reminded Abram where his safety was found. Abram’s safety was found in the One true God rather than his circumstances. We do not have to dread the future because God and His plan provide a shield of safety for us. We are told to take up the shield of faith. This is the belief that God is willing and able to save us no matter the situation we face.
- “Your Very Great Reward”: God proclaimed a powerful truth over Abram’s life. No amount of physical, tangible, or relational experiences would adequately take the place of God in Abram’s life. This truth served as a protection for Abram, and it serves as a protection for us. Before God confirmed the promise of land and legacy, God reminded about the beauty of His protection and His presence.
- God can handle our Honest Questions and Deep Doubts: (Vs. 2-3) Abram responded to the faithfulness of God with honest questions and deep doubts. Let that truth sink in. Abram was real in the midst of his journey. He didn’t have to clean himself up or get his act together. He simply needed to “be” in the presence of God. The question on Abram’s heart went to the heart of the Promise God had made. “What can you give me since I remain childless?” What is the question on your heart for God? Do you believe it is OK to be real before God and with others? Sometimes we can fall into the trap of believing we have to clean ourselves up or be the “good Christian Girl” in order for God to use us. What would it look like for us to get real in our walk with God? The getting real process actually fortifies us in our faith!
- Faith is Key to Victory: (Vs. 4-6) (Legacy) When we ask a question, are we ready to listen? I think that is something we don’t talk about enough. We can figure out the questions, but how often do we sit still long enough to listen for God’s reply? In the process, are we open to God correcting us by changing our viewpoint not only on the situation but also on the future? Abram was ready to listen. Getting real with God and ourselves prepares us for God’s way over our way. “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” Genesis 15:6 is one of the most profound verses in all of the Bible. The moment Abram believed, he said, “Yes!” to God’s way of living. Abram placed His faith or trust in God. Let’s talk about righteousness. I like to think of it like this: right-standing and right-living. Right-standing happens through salvation. We place our faith in Jesus, and His righteousness becomes our righteousness. Right-living happens through sanctification. We have the daily opportunity to demonstrate Jesus’ righteousness applied to our lives as we walk by faith.
- God Provides What We Need: (Vs. 7-19) (Land) God reminds Abram about the beginning of their relationship and the Promise of land. This conversation brings another honest question from Abram. “O Sovereign Lord, how can I now that I will gain possession of it?” God entered into covenant with Abram. This was a formal agreement that meant what God said would come to pass. The events recorded in Genesis 15 paints a picture of God’s chosen people coming out of Egypt and towards the Promised Land. God also promised Abram that he would die in peace. God provided Abram with everything he needed. God does the same for us. Through the New Covenant:
- God sent Jesus to secure our salvation. (Victory over the Grave)
- God sent the Holy Spirit to be our Guide. (Victory over Sin)
- God gave us His Word, so we know how to live. (Victory over Confusion)
- God gave us the Church, so we are not alone. (Victory over Isolation and loneliness)
How do we access the victory? We make Genesis 15:6 our proclamation of faith as we believe God.
Transforming Truth: God is sure, steady, and able even in the midst of our questions and doubts.
This week I want to encourage you to be honest about your questions and doubts. Bring them before the Lord along with an open heart to be encouraged and redirected. Let your belief in God define and redefine how you live. This week it is all about REAL, HONEST, DEEP faith. I can’t wait to talk about it with you!