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God Promises Abraham a Son

The Bible in Art: God Promises Abraham a Son

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Verses for Consideration: Genesis 12:1-5

 

1 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram  in a vision:

 

“Do not be afraid,  Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward.”

 

2 But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord,  what can you give me since I remain childless  and the one who will inherit[c] my estate is Eliezer of Damascus? ” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant  in my household  will be my heir.”

 

4 Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir. ” 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars -if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

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We probably all remember waking up in a cold sweat, worried about something we were facing. It might have been a medical test or a problem at work. Such dreamlike anxiety is natural. However, to dwell on our problems and worry about them day after day is not natural, at least for the Christian.
Since creation, the Lord God has been helping his children through all kinds of crises. Even before Abraham prayed for God’s help, God was protecting him as he lived in a foreign land. He encouraged and comforted Abraham by telling him: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”

These words comfort God’s people today. We can possess no greater knowledge than to know that God guards and shields us. He has promised us his protection through life and death, all the way to our home in heaven.

Abraham prayed about a special challenge. The Lord had promised him a son, and human reason could not figure out how that would happen. His aged wife, Sarah, had not been able to have children. In weakness Abraham offered to give God a hand. He said, “Why not consider my servant my heir?

“We are no different, are we? How small our minds are! How shortsighted our trust is when we think we must help the Lord bring his good promises to pass!

The Lord revealed that Abraham would indeed have a son. He took him outside and had him look at the stars and said, “So shall your offspring be.”

Abraham simply took the Lord at his Word. “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”

The Lord continues to bless us through the offspring of Abraham -Jesus Christ- and he does so without our help. The works and merits of Jesus Christ and the power of God are all we need for God’s blessings and an open heaven.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us remember that you do not need our help. Help us simply rely on your grace and mercy. Amen.

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Title: God and the Angels Visit Abraham c.1680 – 1685

Artist: Arent de Gelder