Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
Everybody has their own way of waking up in the morning. Some people get up and they need some time before they are actually fully functional. We had an uncle at one time who drank two pots, not two cups, but two pots of coffee in the morning before he did anything else. I never saw him do that, but that is what he declared and that is what others who knew him better then we did, declared. Others need their special blanket and they curl up before a fireplace and slowly come to life in the morning. Some people get up and they are ready to go. They get at life and get out their Bibles and read them carefully and prepare for the war they will face that day. The Bible does tell us that we are in a spiritual war. The apostle Paul does compare us to a good soldier. A good soldier could not get up and consume two pots of coffee before facing the enemy. He would be dead.
Those who have been reading these devotionals would likely agree that they are not nursery rhymes. They are not designed to just kind of slip into your day and let you slumber on. These devotionals are from the Word of God. They are not inspired, but the Word of God that they draw from certainly is inspired. We need to be prepared for the day and we need to be alert for the war we are facing.
I go back to this past weekend in Parliament. All of those in Parliament are so gullible that when the speaker of the house gets up and announces an honour upon a guest of the chamber, everybody gets up and gives the person a standing ovation. They are so unquestioning and so ready to just go along with what is said. It is amazing to me to see that number of people all in the same gullible place. Now, since that fateful event, there is public disapproval among some. We should have learned by now that we cannot trust the government of the day in anything. Yet even the opposition parties just agreed to applaud this man without any question.
That event is a very clear picture of how this country is run. Sadly, that is also a very clear picture of how much of professing Christianity is run today. There are men and women who proclaim themselves as spiritual leaders and through subtilty, they gain a following and they seem to be growing but no one is even a little curious as to what they believe and what their foundation is.
As mentioned above, we are in a war. A good soldier needs to know Who his commander is. He needs to know if he can trust his commander. There is only one commander that is absolutely trustworthy. That Commander is God. That God is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The true God will never lead anyone astray. He is before all things and by Him all things consist. He has given us His Word and He is still watching over His Word to make sure that we have the perfect Word of God today. Not all “Bibles” are the Word of God. Those who are born again will desire the “sincere milk of the word.” The Holy Spirit indwells every true child of God and He works in the heart of every true believer to move them in the godly direction.
As we study God’s Word, we discover that the God of Creation is beyond reproach. Abram needed to learn this. Every true child of God needs to learn this. Every true born again child of God begins as a lost sinner. He or she is saved at some point, and then needs to learn that God is completely trustworthy.
In our brief study of Abram, we have already seen that God has revealed Himself to Abram as completely trustworthy. Everything that God promised Abram was believable. Every command God gave to Abram was pure and needed to be obeyed explicitly because God knew what He was doing.
In chapter 15 God is further showing Abram that he can trust the LORD. Keep in mind that the LORD is Jehovah God. This name describes God as the self-existent God Who takes care of Himself and also takes care of His children. He can handle every need His child(ren) will ever face.
In chapter 15:1 the LORD came to Abram in a vision and told him not to fear. Abram had just demonstrated his fear of the Egyptians. Later, he had demonstrated some faith in going after some enemies that had captured his nephew and his family. Abram was in a new land. He did not know the people of the land. His father was gone. He was to be separated from all his relatives and friends. They were to be back in Ur of the Chaldees. He was to start out completely fresh. He had chosen to keep his nephew, Lot and his family with him. God was showing Him that Lot was not the kind of person he needed in his life. God was and is a much better discerner of character than we are. God was showing him that he could count on Him completely. The LORD said: “I am thy shield.” He did not say, I will be thy shield, or I could be thy shield. God declared Himself to be the “I am” with regard to Abram’s protection.
In Ephesians 6 Paul was directed by God to tell true saints to take the “shield of faith”. That shield was there to “quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” All of them, not just some of them. True saints do not always believe that, but that is what God says. Just as Abram of old needed to learn to trust God explicitly, so His saints need to do so today.
Further God told Abram that He was “thy exceeding great reward.” God had promised to make Abram a great nation. He had promised him many descendants. Abram was getting older every day, but he had no son. God did not tell Abram to wait until He would give you the visual promise. He told Abram to trust Him, period.
In verses 2-3 we see Abram’s response to God’s continued reminders. Abram did not see the fruit of the promise. He heard what God was saying, but he could not hold it in his hand. He had no child. He had no son. As far as Abram was concerned, Eliezer, his servant was going to be his heir. Eliezer was a trustworthy servant, but he was not born of Abram and Sarai.
In verse 4 the LORD declared that Eliezer was not going to be Abram’s heir. Abram would have an heir that would come from his own bowels. In verse 5 we see that the LORD took Abram outside and told him to look up toward heaven. He was to count the stars. Abram could not count all the stars. There were far too many. The LORD promised him that his seed would as the stars of heaven. He would have an enumerable seed.
Remember, Abram had no child at this point. He was getting older, and Sarai was getting older as well. Abram needed to believe the LORD. He could not look back on his life and find one moment in time where God failed him. Even when he lied regarding his wife, God protected him. God stopped the Pharaoh from being able to defile Sarai. Pharaoh increased Abram’s material wealth in spite of Abram’s sin against God. Abram spoiled his testimony, and God did not overlook that.
In verse 6 we see that Abram believed in the LORD. Abram needed to put his trust in what God told him. He did not need to have the tangible evidence in hand first. He needed to believe first. He needed to act upon what the LORD said, by faith. That is the same thing that every true child of God must do. We do not wait until we hold the evidence in our hands. We trust God.
The Bible declares that every born again Christian is a “new creature” at the moment of salvation. The true child of God needs to believe that and act upon it. Those who are seeking to encourage the new believer, need to believe that and act upon it as well. We need to encourage the new believer to trust God and act upon what God’s Word says. Abram did not tell God to leave him alone. He was a slow learner at times, but his relationship with the LORD grew closer, not more distant. God’s children are expected to grow because they are God’s children. Those who choose to be like Lot can expect the same type of results that Lot faced.
The last part of verse 6 tells us that the LORD counted it to him for righteousness. It was Abram’s faith in God that brought that response. It was not because Abram was circumcised, or because he sacrificed his son Isaac. He believed in the LORD. That is what was required of Abram and that is what is required of every true child of God. We trust in God by faith and we walk away from the old life. Abram did not purchase the land of Canaan. He was given that land by God. He did not need to use any schemes to receive God’s promised seed. He needed to trust God. We will see this yet. God was offering Abram a gift that he could not purchase. He could not pay for it. It was a gift. Abram needed to act in accordance with the gift given to him. The true child of God needs to do the same today as well.