Friday, February 17, 2017

Abram, Look at the Stars, Look How They Shine for You (Genesis 15:1-6)

The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: ‘Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.’ But Abram said, ‘O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?’ And Abram said, ‘Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.’

And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: ‘This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.’ And he brought him outside and said, ‘Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’

And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness
(Genesis 15:1-6, ESV)

By now Abram was an old man. His wife, Sarai, was old too – in fact, decades beyond childbearing age. So when God came to him in a vision (you may called it ‘dream’) and repeated the promise He once made with Abram, it’s not hard to understand Abram’s doubt and fear. “I continue childless,” he said, “and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus [his chief servant].” Lot, his nephew has gone; and Abram had left his families behind. Since he doesn’t have any children or other close relatives, by law of the land, his chief servant will inherits his properties (unless he go back to his home town). I imagine it was a painful thing for Abram to think about: It wasn’t even a distant relative, but a servant who would inherit everything he had worked for.

Even though God seems to be ‘last-minute’ to me, it wasn’t what He had in mind when He promised to make a great nation of Abram. He wasn’t talking about servant(s) that will inherit his properties and promises. No, as unlikely as it sounded, God was going to give Abram his very own son.

God took him outside the tent [still in a vision, probably in spirit?] and told him to look up to the heavens. “Number the stars, God said, “if you are able to number them.” [Again, I imagine Abram tried to count the stars with his finger and murmured 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…] “So shall your offspring be.”

Abram probably lifted his head once more, this time he looked at the stars not as numbers but possibilities. He took in the vast and shimmering sky – each star a son, a daughter, each one a blessing to the rest of the world. And somehow, Abram’s faith restored – Abram believed again.

I hope that this story – God’s Story – will lift up your faith again, restore your believe in God’s promises again, hope in Him again. May God’s righteousness be with you as you believe in His goodness and promises in His living Word.
[P.s: I’m not sure what “counted it to him as righteousness” mean; could it be God counted Abram as righteous because of his act of believe?]


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