Abram sets out with Sarai and his nephew Lot. In Genesis 12, God tells Abram many things that HE will do.
In fear and unbelief, Abram will lie to Pharaoh that his beautiful wife is his sister. (Gen 12:10-20)(Later, we will see this “fix-it-yourself mentality” play out with Sarahs’ maidservants when the promised heir doesn’t arrive when they think he should arrive).
What we can gather from this is that Abram and Sarai had an imperfect and immature faith, but God still did what He said He was going to do.
We see God deliver Abram’s enemies into his hands (14:20) and graciously comfort Abram telling him, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” (Gen 15:1)
And I find it curious that in this moment, Abram responds, “Lord God what will you give me seeing I go childless,” (Gen 15:2)
Abram makes an honest and bold request, and God, Who created the heavens and the earth and Who certainly controls the words in His Bible, included this for to us to read.
God, Who had just told Abram that He was his exceedingly great reward, does not scold Abram for this request, but instead has Abram look to the stars and says, “So shall your descendants be.” (Gen 15:5)
And Abram (later called Abraham) believed in the LORD and it was accounted to him as righteousness (Gen 15:6)
Oh, don’t miss the magnitude of this statement in Genesis!
THIS statement is the example of faith that is talked about in the New Testament!
The Apostle Paul writes, “What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”(Romans 4:1-3)
“Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised”. (Romans 4:9-10)
“Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? – just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham”.(Galatians 3:5-7)
“And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead”. (Romans 4:19-24)
God uses the Old Testament to help us understand the New Testament.
This passage from Genesis is foundational to our faith. It is foundational to understanding what salvation is and what it is not.
Abram believed God would do what He said He would do and this compelled action in His life.
Therefore, so should we who say we are believers.
Friend, for years I had a religion that never changed my life. That’s a miserable and powerless way to live. But as we turn our eyes to God, as we believe Him enough to follow Him, we find peace and hope and joy that does not change when life gets hard.
The WORD is so very good! All of it!