Year 2 Day 222
Read - Genesis 15
Message - Scott Woodburn
The promise of God to Abram was extraordinary. In him all the nations of the world would be blessed and his descendants would be more numerous than the dust of the earth. There was one small problem though…Abram had no heir. If the situation continued then Eliezer of Damascus would stand in line to receive the blessing of God (v2).
Yet the Lord was clear. Eliezer would not be Abram’s heir, instead Abram would have a son (v4). Once more the Lord took Abram outside and showed him the stars. “So shall your offspring be.” Said the Lord (v5). At this bold statement Abram believed the Lord and it was counted to him as righteousness (v6). Here in Genesis we see Abram’s saving faith. He believed God and it was credited or counted to him as righteousness. We are familiar with the term “imputation” aren’t we? When we believe the Gospel, Christ’s righteousness is credited or imputed to our account. We see the exact thing here with Abram. He trusted the Lord and was declared righteous with a righteousness that was not his own.
But Abram wanted to be sure to be sure. The Lord would give Abram the land but Abram enquired “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” (v8) Father Abram is exactly like you and I. We like to be sure. We like to see something in stone. We want the promise in writing. Thankfully and graciously the Lord blesses us with signs of His covenant promises.
Abram was to gather various animals and cut them in half (v9-11). With the work complete he fell into a deep sleep of great darkness. As Abram slept the Lord revealed to him that his descendants would be wanderers in land that wasn’t their own. They would be servants in that land and would be there for 400 years (v13). Eventually the Lord would bring them from that land to the land promised to Abram (v16).
As a sign of the truthfulness of His Word the Lord appeared as a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch and passed between the divided bodies of the animals (v17). What did this mean? The Lord was telling Abram “May I be cut in two like these animals if I don’t keep my promise”.
Once more Scripture interprets Scripture. In Hebrews 6 we are told that because there is no one greater than God, He swore by Himself that He would keep His promise (Hebrews 6v13). God was showing Abram (and us) convincingly that He does not change and He will not abandon His promises or His people. God cannot lie. God cannot fail. He will do all that He has said.
Abram would die at a good old age (v15) but the promise made to him continues to be fulfilled all these years later. Brothers and sisters I urge you to take heart today. Our prayers can sometimes seem unanswered and life can often be incredibly tough but the Lord remains faithful.
It is impossible for God to lie, therefore we “have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6v18-20)
Q100 What doth the preface of the Lord’s Prayer teach us? The preface of the Lord’s Prayer, which is, Our Father which art in heaven,” teacheth us to draw near to God with all holy reverence and confidence, as children to a father, able and ready to help us; and that we should pray with and for others.