Genesis 15:1-6

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”


But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.” But the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.” He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.  Genesis 15:1-6


Abraham sounds discouraged.  But how can that be?  He just routed the bad guys and rescued Lot.  He was just publicly praised and prayed over by the king of Salem.  He was rich.  He was successful.  But he was discouraged.




Because he still remembered the promise.


God did not promise that Abraham would become rich.  He did not promise that Abraham would become personally worldly successful.  God said Abraham would receive land, would become the father of a great nation and his family line would prove a blessing to the world.  That was the promise.  For childless Abraham, what mattered was a child.


Something must have gotten into the water in the congregation I serve because we have pregnant women all over the place.  I don’t know all their stories but I know some.  Some have longed for a child for a long time and it hasn’t been easy to get to this point.  Some have had scary moments along the way.  Yet each knows they are walking a holy path, bringing a new life of hope and promise into the world.


Abraham reminds us today what is important.


He also reminds us today that prayer need not be a pious prattling of pretention.  His prayer sounds direct, honest, maybe a little whiny as he seems to have been in a whiny mood.  It was, above all, an honest reflection of his discouragement. He trusted God enough to blast God with complaint.  Isn’t there room in love for that?  Even for honest complaint and open disagreement?


So God reminds Abraham of the promise and Abraham believes what he hears.  He believed.  He trusted.  And that, for today, is enough.


Let us pray:  Tear our hearts open, O God, that we might come to you with plain words that tell the truth about where we are, how we feel, what we think, where we hurt, what we hope for, and who we love.  May our desire be to trust you, not impress you.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


One Response to “Genesis 15:1-6”

  1. Russ Says:

    ah yes. may I cease and desist from trying to impress

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