Going Deeper 8-7-2019

The first reading for Pentecost 9...
Genesis 15:1-6    After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, "Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great."  But Abram said, "O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?"  And Abram said, "You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir."  But the word of the Lord came to him, "This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir."  He brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them."  Then he said to him, "So shall your descendants be."  And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.

Abram/Abraham's journey with God is a real roller coaster ride.  Back in chapter 12, God first engages with Abram, calling him to leave his home and travel to a land God would one day give to his descendants.  At that point childless, God promises that a great nation would come from Abram and his wife, Saria/Sarah, and that through their descendants all of the nations of the world would be blessed.

But soon afterward, while traveling through Egypt, Abram fears that Pharoah might find Sarai attractive and tells her to say that she is his sister.  Sure enough, Pharoah takes Sarai for himself and God must intervene to restore her to Abram and keep the promise alive.  A very similar scenario unfolds just a few chapters later.  Such drama!

Several times along the journey Abram questions whether or not God will keep His promises.  The questions asked in our text are asked more than once.  Immediately after God shows Abram the stars and reiterates His promise, Abram will ask "But how am I to know...?"  And yet again God assures Abram that God will indeed keep His word.

Our walk of faith with God may follow a similar pattern of sometimes trusting, sometimes questioning.  Very few of God's children (if any!) have reached a point of total, unwavering trust in God.  We're fickle.  We get distracted and/or impatient.  Only God is constant and consistent.

And yet God still works in incredible ways through Abram... as well as all of the other less-than-heroic people who are part of the story, from then until now.  There is truly only one hero in the Bible: God.  But God continues to work through the faltering, weak, inconsistent ones to strengthen and extend His Kingdom.  People just like Abram, just like me, just like you.

If you have a few minutes, listen to this song, "Broken Things"-- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdUu6ZsdVfM

With You in His Service,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."