Despite all current circumstances...
It has been a week! We picked up Flu A somewhere and every time it feels like we’ve kicked it, it comes back in the form of hitting the next person. To be honest, the days have felt long. By the time 5:00 rolls around, it feels like midnight.
Anyways, if you’ve been reading along, we’ve been working our way through Genesis. This week, we’re moving forward in Abram’s journey with Genesis 15.
In chapter 15, Abram has a vision. In this vision, God says:
“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield;
Your reward will be very great” (Genesis 15:1).
The chapter continues with Abram throwing himself a pity party. He reminds God multiple times that he and his wife have no children of their own. He then expresses his concern that this great reward God is promising will go to someone not even of his bloodline.
First and foremost, I can throw one heck of a pity party. It’s usually for myself, but I’m also really good at jumping in on other pity parties too. Can you relate? Seeing Abram doubt because of his circumstances, helps us understand Abram’s humanity. Our understanding of time, circumstances, and relation is so small to the depth of God’s understanding of time, circumstances, and relevance. 2 Peter 3 reads, “Dear friends, don’t let this one thing escape you: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.” As I mentioned above, one day here has felt like a day and night, so I can’t fathom this thought. There’s a lot I don’t think we can fully comprehend on this side of things.
For example, we hear God say, “For I know the plans I have for you’ – this is the Lord’s declaration – ‘plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). Yet we hear about the "tripledemic" spreading like wildfire through our friends and family in the wake of a two plus year pandemic that hasn’t stopped taking from us.
We read encouragement from Psalms like, “We wait for Yahweh; He is our help and shield” (Psalm 33:20), yet we watch inflation and gas prices continue to rise, as our bank accounts move in the opposite direction. Let’s not forget about the uncertain and scary political climates around the world.
We recite our Father’s prayer and utter, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Yet, we see suffering and hardship all around us.
It all just feels so heavy. When we look at our own circumstances, we see what’s blooming or dying around us. Days or weeks of suffering feel as though it’s been years, and years feel as though it’s been eternity. We wonder if our circumstances will ever change. Time is so ungraspable to us. But to God, time is merely a spectacle of a moment. With all of that, I think we gain a better understanding of where Abram was. He was old. His wife was old. Yet here God was promising more offspring than stars. How could it be so? Knowing this, we learn from Abram that despite our circumstances right now, God indeed has purpose and plans for our lives. God’s response to Abram is His response to us right now. He said:
“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield;
your reward will be very great” (Genesis 15:1).
God began with a command: “Do not be afraid, Abram.” We can take that statement and substitute our name with Abram’s. “Do not be afraid, ____________.” We could stop there and say God tells us not to fear. It’s true. We can trust Him. However, Jesus gave us a greater command. He said to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). So as we look at our circumstances, we fix our eyes on Jesus despite the good or hard that we’re currently facing.
God then offers Abram assurance: “I am your shield.” Again, God is our shield. It’s true. However, we have greater assurance in Jesus. Jesus says, “I am the bread of life… No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again” ... “I assure you: Anyone who believes [that He died for their sins] has eternal life” (John 6:35, 47). God assured Abram in the fact that He was his shield. Today, God assures us in the fact that Jesus, the lamb of God, died for us, so we could live freely. He is in fact our shield.
Lastly, God finishes the three sentence statement with a promise: “your reward will be very great.” And here we are today: Our promise and reward is Jesus. He says, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh” (John 6:51). A promise. A promise that was carried out at that.
When we look at our circumstances, we see what’s blooming or dying around us. We see the hard stuff firsthand, and we wonder, where is God in all of this? Yet, the same God who commanded, assured, and promised Abram, is the same God who commands, assures, and promises us today through Jesus. Despite our circumstances of infertility, job status, relationship status, family status, and sin status, God continues to command, assure, and promise through the provision of His sacrificial lamb, Jesus.
As we get another week closer to Christmas, let us “...be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2). Praying good health over you and yours. Have a good week, friends, and thanks for reading! If you haven't signed up for emails yet, you can subscribe below!