Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 19/260: Abram

Read Genesis 15

Belief Despite a Lack of Understanding

The Lord had promised Abram, “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2). When Abram arrived in Canaan, God said, “To your descendants I will give this land” (Genesis 12:7). He was 75 years old at this time.

It is generally believed that about ten years pass between Genesis 12 and Genesis 15, when God says to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward” (Genesis 15:1). Abram, though, has a question for God. He points to Eliezer as his heir; Sarai is still barren and Abram has no offspring of his own. God tells the patriarch that Eliezer will not, in fact, be his heir, and then says, “Look now toward the heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them. So shall your descendants be” (Genesis 15:5).

A fantastic promise, and one that Abram believed. “And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:8). At the end of the chapter, God again makes the promise, even specifically identifying the land. “On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: ‘To you descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates—the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jubusites” (Genesis 15:18-21). Abram did not understand how it would happen, but he believed it would happen because he believed in God.

Do you believe in God? Do you believe the promises that He has made to those who submit to Him today? He promises salvation to those who believe and are baptized (Mark 16:16). He promises the remission of sins to those who repent and are baptized (Acts 2:38). He promises newness of life to those who are baptized into the death of Jesus (Romans 6:4). We may not understand all the ins and outs of baptism, but one thing is certain: it is at that point and not before that we put on Christ (Galatians 3:27). It is at that point that our sins are washed away (Acts 22:16).

Do you believe in God? Have you acted upon that belief? Without a proper response to Him, faith is not complete. We must believe that He rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). One cannot seek Him if he does not obey Him.

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