Whatever our needs and burdens, God is waiting to meet us.
God’s Promise to Abraham –
Chapter 15 is after Abram’s victorious defeat of armies who plundered and abducted Lot. Remember not to let down your guard after a victory. Time to think can be dangerous. Abram could have thought, “What about the promise God made 10 years ago?” The promise could have seemed so long ago and unreachable.
Quote attributed to a missionary (I didn’t catch his name and couldn’t locate the quote via a quick search on the web. If anyone can find it, please post in the comments.) :
“Can’t think. Can’t read. Can’t pray. All I can do is trust. It was enough.”
Emotions are real and God-given, but they are not to control us and dictate our decisions.
The word of the Lord came to Abram – called him by name, saying …”Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Gen. 15:1
Abram had reason to be afraid. Because of God’s character, because of who He is, God confirmed once again His promise to Abram.
God reminds us of who He is. God is a shield and reward to those who trust Him.
What are you fearful about? Jesus intercedes on our behalf. He will guard us if we trust Him.
Where is our trust? In our spouse? Our job? Our family? Our government? (I added the last one because that seems to be the topic I hear most often these days.)
Following God will cost us something. But, wow! What we gain! Our reward is in Him.
Abram misunderstood. The time lapse is often misinterpreted as a “NO.” Waiting is part of God’s instruction. We teach our children to wait.
We always want God to fix things NOW! He is refining us.
What is God making me wait for? How am I waiting? Expectantly?
Before Abram did any service for God, God said I count you righteous. (Genesis 15:6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness. NIV)
Have faith in the God of Abraham. He – God – is the object of our faith. This was before the cross.
Abram didn’t know much, but He believed. God must have given him some revelation because Jesus said Abraham rejoiced in seeing the coming Messiah.
Stand on His word. Stand on Him faithfulness.
Faith is the adequacy of God.
God’s Covenant with Abram –
True faith in God is counted as righteousness. No one is born right with God. We have all sinned and start out lost.
How do we get into a right relationship with Jesus? It isn’t based on our doing, but our being.
Our sins were on Jesus back – moved over from our account to His.
Jesus’ righteousness was put into my account. In Christ Jesus, we are declared righteous.
In ancient times, contracts and treaties were formalized via a ceremony rather than in writing. It was called cutting a covenant. An animal was divided in half along the spine and the parties passed between the two halves. By doing so, they are signifying, “if I don’t do what I promised, may what happened to these animals, happen to me.”
After Abram prepared the animals, he had to wait. He had to run off the vultures why tried to steal them.
How many times have we had to wait and run off the vultures?
Do not grow slack in waiting.
Others may be discouragers.
Satan will lie to us.
Thoughts of doubt will come.
We must keep our focus on Him. Trusting. Abiding.
God alone is the guarantor of the covenant. God’s promises are HIS responsibility. He alone will accomplish all that He has promised.
These are my notes taken during the lecture. Some of them are my own thoughts or paraphrased.