13 December 2007

Genesis 15:1-18

"Look towards heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them." (v.5)


Abram (later renamed Abraham by God) is a successful man. God has singled him out to be the one through whom all nations will be blessed. He is wealthy, married to a beautiful wife, he has held his own with Pharaoh and recently rescued his nephew Lot, who had been taken captive by local warring factions.

Yet despite all of this he is a man in crisis. He could not understand how the promise God had given him would be fulfilled if he had no children.

So, God takes him for a walk under the stars to look up and contemplate life. Once again, God makes the covenant promise to Abram, even though at the time, Abram could neither see how it would come to pass nor comprehend its enormity.

It was not easy for Abram and many times he tried to force God's hand. There were still bouts of disbelief and doubt where he questioned whether he had made the whole thing up. But the story finished well for Abram and his promise of descendents was fulfilled. We are the heirs of the events on that starry night.

For every Christian, like for Abram, the way of the Lord often seems unclear and at times impossible. Sometimes we cling to promises that we know in our hearts to be true but it is immensely difficult to wait for their fulfilment.

To Ponder

What promises has God given to you?

Have they been fulfilled or is that still to come?

If the weather is fine (and the sky is clear) find an opportunity to take a walk under the stars and listen to God.

Bible notes author

Revd Matt Finch

Matt Finch is a Methodist Minister in the West Norfolk Circuit where he shares oversight of ten rural chapels. He is a Fresh Expressions Associate Missioner and passionate about seeing churches flourish in all contexts and people groups.