God’s Response to Abram’s Uncertainty

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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"So the LORD made a covenant with Abram that day and said, 'I have given this land to your descendants, all the way from the border of Egypt to the great Euphrates River.' "

Genesis 15:18

In Genesis 15, Abram is first presented as a paradigm of faith when he trusts God and God counts him righteous (15:6). But when God reiterates his promise to Abram, Abram falters. He asks how he can be sure that God will fulfill his promise (15:7). We might expect that God would respond to Abram with a word of rebuke or some punishment for his uncertainty. But, on the contrary, God gives Abram several gifts: an awe-inspiring experience of God's holiness; a reiteration of his promise to Abram; and a covenant (sacred agreement) of promise. This is the first time we're told that God makes a covenant with Abram.

In God's response to Abram's genuine and all-too-human faith, we sense God's grace. Thus we are encouraged to come before God honestly, not hiding our uncertainties, our doubts, our fears. We can have the confidence that Joseph Scrivens expressed in his classic hymn, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus":

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our ev’ry weakness,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you expect God to react when you struggle with uncertainty and doubt? Are you confident that "Jesus knows our ev'ry weakness"?

PRAYER: Gracious God, thank you for responding to Abram in such a tender way. Rather than rebuking him or punishing him for his uncertainty, you responded by making yourself and your plans known to him.

Thank you for this story, because it encourages me to be honest with you. I realize that I don't have to pretend before you (as if that were actually possible). I can live in relationship with you, experiencing the ebb and flow of faith.

O Lord, I yearn to know you more. So even as you once showed yourself to Abram, let me experience more of you, even this day as I go through my ordinary routines. Help me to see your presence and receive your grace. Amen.