Then He [God] brought him [Abraham] outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. (Genesis 15: 5‐6)
When we first meet Abraham (Genesis 12), he’s 75 years old. He lives among a wicked people, and God calls him out from among them because Abraham’s a righteous and upright man. Abraham has no clue where God will lead him, but he takes his wife, his nephew, and all his possessions, including his servants on a journey to relocate according to God’s specifications. That is a lesson in faith right there. How many of us want to know God’s plans in detail before we agree to serving as an usher in our local church, let alone agreeing to move to another country with no idea of how we’re going to provide for our families?
But that’s only the beginning of Abraham’s example of extreme faith in God.
The above verse is part of a conversation between God and Abraham. Keep in mind Abraham was 75 years old and his wife Sarah was 65 years old when the Lord told them to move. At the time of this conversation, they had been travelling for several years, which puts Abraham in his 80s and Sarah in her 70s. Nevertheless, Abraham takes God’s promise of descendants seriously, although he does use his limited human understanding to try to figure out how that will be possible at their ages. God assures Abraham that Sarah will give him a son. And Abraham believes the Lord.
Unfortunately, Sarah’s faith isn’t as strong, and she convinces Abraham to take her servant, Hagar, as a type of surrogate mother. Hagar does bear a son to Abraham. But God reminds Abraham of His promise and says this boy is not be the heir of whom He spoke. Instead of being the answer to Sarah and Abraham’s dilemma, Hagar’s son soon becomes the cause of much grief. Eventually, Sarah insists that Abraham sends Hagar and Ishmael away.
This one lapse of faith cost Abraham dearly. But God is faithful even when we are not. When Sarah was ninety years-old, she bore a son to Abraham from whom Abraham’s descendants have numbered more than anyone can count.
How about you? What reminds you of Jesus that begins with the letter D?
See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks