Father God, fill me with the gratitude that befits Your amazing deeds and gifts. May I praise You joyfully.
Read Genesis 15:1-21
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Our sin was so great, nothing less than the death of Jesus could save. He had to die for us. But his love was so great, Jesus was glad to die for us” (Tim Keller).
After all the noise and turmoil of ch. 14, in this night-time there is a great quietness. I note carefully what we are told about Abram (mentioned 10 times) and the Lord (9 times). This chapter is a pivotal part of Abram’s 25-year story, of the New Testament story and of our/my story.
In the first part of the chapter, there are two conversations between Abram and the Lord; in the second part, God spoke to Abram while he slept. How do I assess Abram’s tone of voice in the early verses? Is it protest, exasperation, lament, despair, querulousness? The story itself carries no hint of rebuke, rather the reverse. Does my faith have a defiantly hopeful quality about it? Does it rise above prudence and farsightedness? Verse 6 commends Abram’s trusting, and Paul highlights its unwavering quality (Rom. 4:20). I take this moment to renew my ongoing trust in the God who can raise the dead and bring into existence things which do not exist.
God’s answer to Abram’s robust question in v. 8 was in three stages: first, the formal covenant of v. 18, inaugurated with an unforgettable ceremony; second, the giving of the covenant sign of circumcision in chapter 17; and finally an inviolable promise in 22:16-18. The new covenant of which I am a beneficiary was inaugurated in an even greater and more terrible darkness, with greater promises and a more certain hope (Heb. 6:13-20). As I reflect on this indomitable old man, living as long before Christ as I live after Christ, I fan the flames of my own trusting into a conflagration of holy satisfaction, knowing that God will indeed do everything that he has promised and that he is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.
Do you fear anything that lies ahead? How can the promise given to Abram see you through difficult times?
Lord, cast a fresh vision of my future before me. Give me the assurance that what You conceive, I can completely trust You to achieve in me.