Sing quietly the song: ‘What a faithful God have I! Faithful in every way!’
After all the noise and turmoil of chapter 14, in this night-time there is a great quietness. I note carefully what we are told about Abraham(mentioned 10 times) and the Lord(9 times). This chapter is pivotal part of Abram’s 25-year story, of the New Testament story and of, our/my story.
In the first part of the chapter, there are two conversations between Abram and the Lord; in the second part, God spoke to Abram while he slept. How do i assess Abram’s tone of voice in the early verses? Protest, exasperation, lament, despair, querelousness? The story itself carries no hint of rebuke, rather the reverse. Does my faith have a defiantly hopeful quality about it? Does it rise above prudence and farsightedness? Verse 6 commends Abram’s trusting, and Paul highlights its unwavering quality. I take this moment to renew my ongoing trustfulness in the God who can raise the dead and bring into existence things which do not exist.
God’s answer to Abram’s robust question in verse 8 was in three stages: first, the formal covenant of verse 18, inaugurated with an unforgettable ceremony; second, the giving of the covenant sign of circumcision in chapter 17; and finally an invoilable promise in 22:16-18. The new covenant of which I am a beneficiary was inaugurated in an even greater and more terrible darkness, with greater promises and a more certain hope. As I reflect on this indomitable old man, living as long before Christ as I love after Christ, I fan the flames of my own trusting into a conflagration of holy satisfaction, knowing that God will indeed do everything that he has promised and that he is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied with him.
In the midst of distress or uncertainty, faith says, ‘But you, Lord…’ I lift my eyes to what will pass away and to what never will.