Genesis 15:1-6: Higher thoughts.
“After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
‘Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward.’
2 But Abram said, ‘Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?’ 3 And Abram said, ‘You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.’ 4 Then the word of the Lord came to him: ‘This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.’ 5 He took him outside and said, ‘Look up at the sky and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ 6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” NIV UK
The heroes of the Bible are not plaster saints. They don’t live in stained glass windows. They are truly human beings. We can identify with them at so many levels.
Take the case of Abram. God had just spoken to him in a vision. Yet it seems his next words were expressive of doubt (2,3). As Abram saw it, his servant was the only heir he would ever have. But God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts; His ways are higher than ours. We so often get it wrong when we come at a problem using only human reason. Thank God for that amazing organ we call the brain. Let’s praise him for intelligence, and use it. But we need to do more than just think and discuss. Let us pray!
In fact, that is what Abram did. His thoughts were at a low level. But at the same time as expressing them, he prayed: ‘’O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless…?’’ God’s answer was immediate, and to the point: ‘’This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.’’ In a matter of moments, everything changed for Abram (4,5), and we know from elsewhere in Scripture that this was a key moment in salvation history when:
‘’Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.’’
What was it like for this man of God to one moment be staring into the abyss of unbelief and despair, and the next to be full of faith? But with God, things can change; and they can change mighty fast!