November 12, 2009

What Abram Saw Outside

Genesis 15:1-6

He took him outside …
Genesis 15:5


On a clear night, away from city lights, you’ll see all the stars you might want to see. Even with our sophisticated instruments today we still cannot count them all. But God has their number.

Genesis begins with Adam and a fertile Eve, but Sarai was barren. Abram questioned God about his promise of children. So God took Abram outside for a look at his future. Abram had seen the desert night sky ablaze with stars before. But this night was different. “Your descendants will be as many as the stars,” God promised. “Count them, if you can.”

Then Abram stopped questioning. Sometimes seeing is believing.

But twenty-five years would pass before Abraham cradled his firstborn, and many more years passed before there was a clan who called Abraham their father. Still, God’s promise of descendants as numerous as the stars is unstoppable.

Throughout history, persecutions would take many promised sons and daughters: in Egypt, later in Rome, and today in the Darfur region of Sudan. But the count goes on. Steadily. Count all the followers of Christ, if you can. You’ll find them in the most unexpected places of the earth.

And God has their number.

O Lord, I believe all your promises. Help me in my unbelief, through Jesus Christ, the ultimate promised descendant of Abram and Sarai. In his name I pray. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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