Genesis 15:6 – “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”
Genesis 15 is one of the most significant chapters in the Bible recounting God’s call of Abram. In this chapter, the vital themes of faith and covenant appear. When we want to repeat something, we create a prototype that serves as a pattern and precedent that is copied.
When it comes to faith, our prototype is Abraham. In Jesus’ day, they said, “Abraham is our father” (John 8:39). To this day, the three major world religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all point to him as the father of their faith tradition.
Abraham believed God internally and obeyed God externally by doing what God commanded. That is true faith. Abraham models biblical faith for us. Faith is an internal conviction leading to an external action. What makes Abraham’s faith amazing is one simple fact. Abraham’s knowledge was minimal, but his faith was massive. In comparison, we tend to know a LOT more and believe a LOT less.
In Genesis 15:2, we also witness the first time that Abram spoke to the Lord in response. Until this point when God spoke to him, Abram simply believed God and obeyed Him. As Abram’s relationship with God has grown and matured, he now takes the liberty of respectfully inquiring of how God will provide for him. Abram’s speech may indicate a wavering in his faith as, when he is silent, it appears Abram acts in faith and, when he questions God, it appears that doubt is creeping into his mind. If there is doubt, it may be in part because God had already promised Abram a son earlier (Genesis 12:2) and some 25 years would pass between God’s promise of a son and the birth of that son, Isaac. Since the name Abram means “exalted father”, it could have meant that every day of his adult life was painful as he and his wife were unable to have a son, which could have caused his faith in God’s promise of a son to waiver as real faith is rarely perfect faith.
Regarding Abraham, Romans 4:18 says, “In hope he believed against hope”. When you believe the possible is possible, that is hope. When you believe the impossible is possible, that is hope beyond hope. For example, a healthy, young married couple believing they can have a baby is hope, but when Abraham and Sarah, who are barren and old enough to be great-grandparents wait 25 additional years to have a baby, that is hope beyond hope.
As we continue to look at the story of Abraham and Sarah over the next several chapters, we will see God confirm His covenant with this family and, spoiler alert, we’ll see that the promised son does indeed come in exactly the right timing as God planned it. I pray this is an encouragement to you as you wait expectantly for things in your own life.
What things have you had to wait the longest for God to do in your life? What things are you still waiting in faith for God to do in your life? Thank Him for those things you’ve seen Him do and continue in faithful prayer for the other things for which the answer is “not yet”.
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