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Genesis chapter 15:9-21 is the first Abrahamic Covenant. It was an unconditional divine promise to fulfill the grant of the land to Abram and his descendants. Verses 5 & 6 in chapter 15 are powerful: "Then the LORD brought Abram outside beneath the night sky and told him, "Look up into the heavens and count the stars if you can. Your descendants will be like that--too many to count!" And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD declared him righteous because of his faith." And verse 6, the preceding sentence to this one I think is important for each of us to consider. Do we believe God's promises? What are God's promises for us? Do we have faith that God's promises for us through his son Jesus are true? Even if we've been walking with faith for a while now - are we still as "on fire" with our faith as we once were? Can we pray to God to show us his promises anew (or maybe for the first time) for our lives? Can we pray to God for faith like Abram's? It is believed that in the dark night sky of the ancient near east Abram could have seen up to 8,000 stars in the sky. Perhaps when God said the words above in verses 5 & 6 Abram saw a view of something like this below (image taken from NASA's Hubble Space telescope of the Sagittarious Star Cloud):
Today in Genesis chapter 16 we get another potential Jesus sighting in the OT! :) (Similar to our "potential" with Melchizedek yesterday.) I'll keep you posted on all our "potential" Jesus sightings in the Old Testament - as seen by some commentaries. Some believe that the angel that appears to Hagar in the desert could be Christ pre-incarnate. Why? Because the angel seems to be speaking in the first person, as if the angel is God - (and Jesus is God) - but yet the angel is not described as God the Father. Check out verse 10 on this point - "I will give you more descendants than you can count."" Next point is that later in this chapter Hagar seems to be giving the angel a bit more credit of the angel "just being an angel", as you'll see here in verse 13: "Thereafter, Hagar referred to the LORD, who had spoken to her, as "the God who sees me," for she said, "I have seen the One who sees me!"" I guess I can see how some commentators go down this path... Whaddya think? Below is French painter James Tissot's watercolor "Hagar and the Angel in the Desert" from the year 1896:
In Genesis chapter 17 we read about the second Abrahamic Covenant! This covenant was is a conditional divine pledge from God to be Abraham's God and the God of his descendents. The condition? Obedience and consecration to God as symbolized by circumcision. In verse 23 I think we see another example of Abraham's prompt obedience to God's will for his life: "On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and every other male in his household and circumcised them, cutting off their foreskins, exactly as God had told him." Abraham does not hesitate - does not wait one more day - he and every other male in his household get circumcised that very day! Are we prompt with our obedience to God's will in our lives? Or do we wait a day to move forward on what God is calling us to do? Or do we even wait a week? Or a year? Or a lifetime? What is God calling you to do? Will you be promptly obedient? Below is a stained glass image from England made in the year 1435 showing God giving this covenant to Abraham:
Worship Video: Today's readings in Genesis 15:5 with God showing Abram the stars reminded me of The Afters song "Light Up the Sky:"
Has God lit up the sky for you? Click here for God's Light of the World!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness." Genesis 15:6 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that like Abram, you believe in the Lord. Pray that like Abram, you have faith. Pray that through your saving faith in Jesus, Christ's righteousness will be credited to you forevermore.
Comments from You and Question of the Day: Has God ever shown Himself to you through His creation, as He did to Abram in Genesis chapter 15? Has His creation ever increased your faith? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. I would greatly appreciate it if you would pray for this Chronological Bible Blog ministry today. Thanks!