Year of the Bible – Genesis 15:1-16:35

Epiphany - Week One - Genesis 15



“. . . but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.”

                        Genesis 15:4

Genesis 15:1-16:35 (15:1-6)

Abram and Sarai – (Trust/Justification)

Abram was afraid that he would not become a father. His fear was based upon two things. He wanted an heir from his own household. He also wanted to be the father (progenitor) of the Messiah. He had gotten very old. He seemed to have been filled with doubts. But God gave Him a promise. Abram would have descendants as numerous as the stars. Abram believed God and it was “reckoned to him” for righteousness. God “imputes” – declaring something to be what it is, so that through the power of His Word it becomes what God says it will be. That is how we become righteous before God. To help us understand imputation, God connects Abram’s righteousness to the ownership of Israel, the promised land. He “gave” the land to Abram. Notice how it became Abram’s land – even though he did not take it, even though no one else thought it was Abram’s, even though he would never fully experience it as his land. But it was his because God said it – His Word made it so!

Hagar and Ishmael: One wonders why Abram, at first very certain of God’s promise, started to “backslide”. He and Sarai became impatient and took matters into their own hands. Sarai’s Egyptian maid, Hagar, tried to have a “surrogate” child for Sarai, but she soon began to despise her mistress. Problems, huge and very long lasting problems (multi-generational – now reflected in Islam vs. Christianity, and between the Arab worlds and the west), came about because Abram and Sarai refused to rely on and trust in God’s Word. Today we are so often afraid to rely upon God’s promises because our reason and common sense get in the way. We need to remind ourselves daily that God’s Word and promise will never be taken from us, that as we walk in His paths, He will always shield and defend us.

Year of the Bible – Epiphany Week One | Tuesday | Genesis 15 – © John W. Fiene