July 15, 2020 – Wednesday
Genesis 15:5-7 NIV
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.
7 He also said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.”
The key verse above is verse six Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness. The key word in this verse, in my opinion, is believed. While versions of the word believe occur only 27 times in the Old Testament, it is interesting to note it is the Hebrew root word for all versions of the word faith which occurs 171 times in the NIV, 179 times in the ESV.
Now let’s consider a greater context of verse six above
1 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. 7 He also said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.”
This was an incredible vision the Lord gave Abram who was approximately 85 years old, his wife Sarai 75 years old. It would be another 15 years before their son Isaac was born. Yet at age 85 Abram believed the Lord even though Sarai was beyond the normal child bearing age.
Think of that, Abram and Sarai had to wait 15 years before God’s promise came to be! Yet the promise came to be, even though Abram and Sarai became impatient and Abram had a son through Sarai’s servant Hagar, Ishmael, only a year later
Nonetheless, Abram believed. And the Lord credited it to him as righteousness. We often think we can have righteousness by our own efforts, but if we want real righteousness it will come from belief in what God has told. This is especially true when we show our belief by acting on what He has told us. Consider two New Testament verses:
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. Hebrews 11:6
Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. John 20:29
The second verse is Jesus speaking to Thomas who had not believed He had risen from the dead. The second verse also says we, who did not see the risen Christ, are blessed because we have believed without seeing Him in the flesh. This implies, going back to Genesis 15:6, our belief is likely credited to us as righteousness. And from Hebrews 11:6 there are rewards for those of us who earnestly seek Him.
There are many who oppose any belief in God and even strongly criticize those who believe in God when they do not believe. Why is a mystery as they do not rail against beliefs in the tooth fairy or a real Santa Claus. Perhaps they fear He does indeed exist and for their own false peace of mind must demand we join in their lack of belief. Whatever the reason, we have real reasons to believe and act on our beliefs as there are eternal benefits for us. Plus we wish to share those benefits with all others who will chose to believe.