To: en & others
From: Su Min
Subject: God Our Shield
Dearly beloved children,
Today we look at Genesis 15. God speaks to Abram (Gen 15:1). What a wonderful relationship between Abram and God. Abram serves a God with whom he has a personal relationship, a God to whom he can approach, a God who takes time to talk and converse. And each of us can claim this sort of relationship too. Love the God Most High with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Matt 22:37). Love him and talk with him in prayer, and you will find that he talks to you, and He will be your shield.
It is a genuine conversation. God reaffirms his promise to Abram, "Great will be your reward". But Abram has his doubts. The beauty of Genesis 15:2,3 is that we can question God, and reveal our anxiety and doubts to Him. He loves us and longs to hear us to talk to him. He wants to comfort and reassure us. But, oh so often we take our anxieties and try to run away. But Abram faces God. He asks God how to reconcile the promise of God to make Abram father of a great nation (Gen 12:2) with the fact that he is old and still childless. Will his chief servant Eliezer be his adopted heir and the genetic progenitor of the promised nation? That is Abram's logical human solution to this dilemma. But God had other ideas. God had promised that Abram would be a great nation and that his offsprings would number as the dust of the earth (Gen 13:16). Here God promises Abram that a son will come from his own body, not from a servant (Gen 15:4). The next scene is beautiful. God brings Abram out (they must have been in one of these middle east tents) and invites him to look up and count the stars and promises that his offsprings shall be as numerous as the stars. As an aside we know that God knows how many stars there are in the sky, and he knows each of them by name (Ps 147:4).
What is Abram's response to this promise? Abram believed (Gen 15:6). And this act of faith is recorded, and documented, and remembered by God. Abram believed and his belief was credited to him as righteousness. Abram believed and he is listed in Hebrews 11:11-12 for his faith. So by this point in the reading (Gen 15:6) Abram is convinced that he will be the father of a great nation. But where will they live?
In verse 7 God reiterates his promise to give the Promised Land to his Chosen People. Abram is doubtful. Will it happen? The land is occupied by many people, some of them fierce fighters. He asks God "How can I know that I will take possession of it?" It may be that he does not doubt God, but he may doubt his own ability. So he asks God for proof. Instead of proof, God makes a covenant with Abram. In old middle east, a solemn vow was sealed by passing between the two halves of a slain animal, with the very basic concept that the same fate of the animal would occur to the person who breaks the covenant. God asks Abram to prepare a heifer, a goat, a ram, a dove and a pigeon. A deep sleep overwhelms Abram and God speaks to him, warning that the nation he will father will suffer slavery for 400 years, yet they will finally triumph. And in sealing the covenant, God uses the form of a smoking fire pot and a blazing torch to pass between the pieces of the covenant animals. And in sealing the covenant, God reassures Abram that indeed that the land from Egypt to the Euphrates will be given to his descendants (Gen 15:18). The promise of slavery and redemption over 400 years was truly to be fulfilled.
God is faithful and just. He never fails. He promises to be our shield. He will protect us. He offers us eternal life. All we need to do is confess our sins, repent and accept Jesus as Lord. Let us end with the doxology found at the end of Jude (only one chapter), verses 24-25.
Amen and amen.love dad
For any comments or enquiries please write to Dr. Lim Su Min
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