Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Possibilities of Faith - Genesis Chapter 15

Editors Note:  It has been a long time since I have updated this blog.  I've begun to teach a class and decided this is a good study tool for them.  Also, the blog still receives some readership, because I receive requests for the Timeline of History, fairly often.  Thanks for continuing to follow this blog. - Chris
I wrote a couple of posts ago about Abram’s faith.  That he was called out of Haran and heard the voice of God.  This took amazing faith on Abram’s part, because he was raised in the seat of Nanna worship.  Nanna is the Sumerian moon god. There was no one there who was talking about the God of the Bible.  There was no one preaching the God of the Bible in that place, but when God called Abram heard his voice and responded.  It’s amazing faith, isn't it?
Genesis 15:1-6 (NKJV)
15:1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward." 2 But Abram said, "Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" 3 Then Abram said, "Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!" 4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, "This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir." 5 Then He brought him 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." 6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
But Abram was much like all of us.  His faith wavered.  He wasn't always so staunch.  He was just like you and I.  Think about it.  As Christians we have heard the call of God and responded to his call.  Many of us came from life experiences where we didn't hear about, or think about God.  But there came a point where God became real for us and when he called us we responded.

But most of us have ebbs and flows in our faith.  We are not always SURE that God is going to respond.  It’s not God’s fault; God is faithful.  It’s just that our faith isn't always that strong.  We all have doubts.  We all become confused.  We all think, sometimes, that we have to do it on our own.  Sometimes, we just don’t see how God can keep his promise.

This is a moment like that for Abram.  God has promised him that he would make a great nation.  But Abram is looking at his circumstances and he’s saying, “Wait a minute God.  I don’t have any heirs.  How can you possibly make a great nation from that.”  Abram at this point is more than seventy-five years old.  His wife is sixty-five years old and barren.  They have no children and yet God has promised that he would make a great nation from him.  Abram’s great faith is wavering. 

So God reassures him that he will have a child from his own body. Then He does something that’s very interesting.  He takes him outside and says, “Look up at the sky. Count the stars.  That’s how many descendants you will have.”

It seems as if He’s saying, “Look at the stars, count them I am the God who created them.  I put them in place.”  If God can do that, can he create a child for an old man and his barren wife?  In light of the creation, it seems a small thing for God. 

I think, though, that there is a second lesson here for us.  That is that God has a plan, a destiny, for each of us and despite our circumstances can bring that destiny to pass. It isn't God who limits us.  Instead it’s us who put limits on God.  We are unable to see how the promise of God can come to pass, so we assume that it can’t happen.  The Bible tells us though, that all things are possible with God.  You may not see the possibilities, but God can work outside of your circumstances.  You have a destiny in God’s will and even though you may not be able to see how it can happen, God can make it happen.

Stream of Thought:

  1. Abram had great faith
  2. Abram is like us.
  3. Our faith wavers and so did his.
  4. Abram couldn’t see how God could keep the promise.
  5. God shows him the miracle of creation.
  6. All things are possible with God
  7. God has no limits but what we place on Him.
  8. God has a “Destiny” in mind for each of us.
  9. God is able to bring our destiny to pass.
  10. God is not limited by our circumstances.

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