17 Jan. Genesis 15:1-11,17-21

17 Jan. God promises Abram he will have a son

"After these things happened, the LORD spoke his word to Abram in a vision: 'Abram, don't be afraid. I will defend you, and I will give you a great reward.'"

"But Abram said, 'Lord GOD, what can you give me? I have no son, so my slave Eliezer from Damascus will get everything I own after I die...'"

"Then the LORD spoke his word to Abram, 'He will not be the one to inherit what you have. You will have a son of your own who will inherit what you have.'"

"Then God led Abram outside and said, 'Look at the sky. There are so many stars you cannot count them. Your descendants also will be too many to count.'"

"Abram believed the LORD. And the LORD accepted Abram's faith, and that faith made him acceptable to God."

"God said to Abram, 'I am the LORD who led you out of Ur of Babylonia so that I could give you this land to own.' But Abram said, 'Lord GOD, how can I be sure that I will own this land?'"

"The LORD said to Abram, 'Bring me a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old goat, a three-year-old ram, a dove and a young pigeon [as a sacrifice].'"

"Abram brought them all to God. Then Abram killed the animals and cut each of them into two pieces, laying each half opposite the other half..."

"After the sun went down, it was very dark. Suddenly a smoking firepot and a blazing torch passed between the halves of the dead animals [and consumed them]."

"So on that day the LORD made an agreement with Abram and said, 'I will give to your descendants the land between the river of Egypt and the great River Euphrates. This is the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.'"

          (Genesis 15:1-11, 17-21)

 

 

God renewed his covenant agreement with Abram at Hebron and promised to give the land between Egypt and the River Euphrates to his descendants.

Abram found this hard to believe, as he and his wife were very old and they didn't have a son and heir. According to the custom of the day, Abram's slave would inherit all his wealth.

But God reassured Abram: "He will not be the one to inherit what you have. You will have a son of your own who will inherit what you have." (Genesis 15:3) Then God went on to promise that Abram's descendants would be "too many to count" (Genesis 15:5) and would inhabit the 'promised land' lying between Egypt and Mesopotamia. (Genesis 15:18)

So why did God promise to bless Abram with a son and a multitude of descendants?

Certainly not because he was a "good man" like Noah, who was "the most innocent man of his time" and "walked with God" (see Genesis 6:9). We've already seen that Abram gained much of his wealth dishonestly by deception, and sold his wife as a concubine into the harem of the king of Egypt (see Genesis 12:10-20).

So why did God promise to bless this very fallible man?

The Bible tells us that it was Abram's faith that made him acceptable to God: "Abram believed the LORD. And the LORD accepted Abram's faith, and that faith made him acceptable to God." (Genesis 15:6)

Later, in the New Testament, we're reminded that it was by faith that sinful human beings such as Abram (later called Abraham) were made acceptable to God. The author of the book of Hebrews reminds his readers that it was always by faith that people won God’s approval:

"It was by faith Abraham obeyed God's call to go to another place God promised to give him... He was too old to have children, and Sarah could not have children. It was by faith that Abraham was made able to become a father, because he trusted God to do what he had promised."

"This man was so old he was almost dead, but from him came as many descendants as there are stars in the sky. Like the sand on the seashore, they could not be counted." (Hebrews 11:8-12)

The photo (by Eman) shows remains of the early Canaanite settlement at Tel Rumeida, Hebron, in the vicinity of which Abram is believed to have pitched his tents.

You can read more about Abram's time in Hebron @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/23-…/the-birth-of-ishmael/


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