I’ve been on a bit of a blogging spree in the last day or so, having made 3 posts in 24 hours, and starting on my 4th not long after. I do however think an online blogging spree is much healther than an online shopping spree, if only in terms of an online wallet.
I can’t really talk about what I’ve done since my last blog post, unless you count various facebook conversations, and getting out of this chair a few times to get stuff from my room… However, in the morning I’m planning on doing some wood chopping (with an axe, funsies?) and cutting the grass if/when it’s dry enough. I’ll maybe go and cycle round the Kyle, but only if I’m feeling really energetic.
When I first scanned through this passage I though, oh great, I’ll have to muddle along and have a boring blog, OR I could just combine it with chapter 16…
I read it again, as is my way before leaping into the blog, and discovered some hidden gems which I’d missed the importance of in my skim.
This passage is the longest documented conversation Abram has with God, (by this point). It heads up with God speaking to Abram, not responding, but initating.
God’s Agreement with Abram
1 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.”
God’s saying “Great job there! Don’t worry about revenge from the deafeated kings, I have your back. I’ve a ‘thankyou’ present for you doing so well”
Personally, at this point I’d be like “WOW THANK YOU!” I certainly wouldn’t come back with what Abram says. What a guy.
2 But Abram said, “Lord God, what can you give me? I have no son,
That seems pretty weird to me, but I guess when you’ve gotten well past 65, and are getting on for 99, you’d not be thinking about you, but about what comes after you. What will your legacy be? Actually, it doesn’t seem that strange. I sometimes wonder if I’ll be remembered long after I’m gone – Will I go down in history? How many people can you name that lived over 100 years ago? Maybe lots, maybe few. It’s not easy to be one of the people remembered.
Abram wasn’t just worried about being remembered, he was worried about what would happen to his family – or lack of it. Abram wanted any gift that God gave him to LAST to be remembered, he respected the importance of it. However, he didn’t have any children to remember it for him.
God listens to him, he says ” It’s cool bro, I got this. You’ll have a son, he’ll inherit your stuff. Infact, you’ll have so many decendants, you wouldn’t be able to count them.”
5 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.”
This verse is the start of God’s promise to Abram, and from that promise came Jesus – I’d say that makes it important.
I think, but I’m not sure, that this is the first promise God makes to DO something, rather than to NOT DO something (like flood the world, see https://lifeisnotamystery.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/no-ahnother-blog-post/)
We’ll see how the promise plays out when I get to chapter 17, or you could read ahead and find out, just don’t spoil it for the rest 😉
The next bit that really jumped out, not litterly, at me was verse 6
6 Abram believed the Lord. And the Lord accepted Abram’s faith, and that faith made him right with God.
I have to admit, that the topic of what happened to people who died before Jesus, has always been one I found difficult, but I think, no longer.
That faith made him right with God.
When it comes to encouraging passages, I think this has to be one of the best. Abram didn’t do anything spectactular, this isn’t about the acts he’s performed, it’s about one little thing. Trusting a promise. Abram believed God and God accepted that. (Yes I will say it atleast twice more in the post.)
The essence of faith is hard to grasp – to define faith, to get your head round what it means. Google, come to my aid once again?
7God 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.”8 But Abram said, “Lord God, how can I be sure that I will own this land?”
Abram trusts God, but he still isn’t sure – what a relief. He’s just been made right with God, God accepts Abram. Next thing Abram questions God. Fantastic. I LOVE IT.
Abram expresses his doubt, or uncertainty, and God answers. They way God answers is through a custom or ritual I don’t understand, since I wasn’t exactly living in the culture way back then. The ritual or whatever seals the bond – the hand shake at the end of a bet, the signing of a contract.
Which all leads back to promises!
New Century Version (NCV)
12 My brothers and sisters, above all, do not use an oath when you make a promise. Don’t use the name of heaven, earth, or anything else to prove what you say. When you mean yes, say only yes, and when you mean no, say only no so you will not be judged guilty.
I think the challenge there is clear. Mean what you say, and only what you say. As somebody who loves mystery and double entendre this is a challenge.
The challenge is this. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Do what you say, and mean what you do.
Thanks for reading
PS. Abram believed God and God accepted that.
Had to mention it agian.