Genesis 15

How easy it is with Bible chapters and verses and NIV text headings to lose the flow of the original writing. Until Search the Scriptures reminded me, I didn't really think of relating what God says in 15:1 to the previous chapter. But of course, it's all tied in. "I am your shield" – it was me that kept you safe when you went to war, just as I promised I would. I am "your very great reward" – you were right not to keep the plunder from your campaign, I will give you all that you need.

Even though God's claim was completely outrageous (that Abram with no son and a barren wife would have innumerable offspring) Abram just believes. In Romans, Paul makes it clear that this is to be the pattern of our faith. We know that the God we serve is awesome and faithful, so we just believe what he says whatever it feels like. Encouragingly, though, Abram wasn't perfect. "How can I know that I will gain possession of [the land]" (v8). So, God made a covenant with Abram. He also prophecies the Israelites captivity in Egypt, which is cool. If the Israelites remembered this, then they would know while they were in Egypt that God hadn't failed, but he'd always known this was going to happen and had promised them Caanan anyway. As for me, I know from the Bible that the sufferings and trials aren't a sign that God has failed but are to be expected, and the Lord Jesus came to earth in person to make a covenant with me. What would Abram have done with that?!

Heavenly Father, thankyou that you care about the details of our lives and speak directly into them. Help me to read the Bible the way it was originally written. Thankyou for the assurance you have given me that you will keep your promise to save me – even beyond the fact that you haven't broken a promise yet! Let me have the faith of Abram, so I can serve you better. Amen

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