Faith Like Abraham

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 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.

So why focus on childless Abram on this fifth day of Advent?

Because the old, heirless man would one day have countless heirs who would share in his inheritance

Be careful to note who the heir will be--a son who is his own flesh and blood will be his heir.  Another promise related to Jesus--another promise that is fulfilled in him.

The last line of these verses is the one that should stand out for us and is the subject of meditation in more than one New Testament epistle.  "Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness."

As outrageous as the promised must have seemed to Abram, as unlikely this old, wrinkled man might have been for becoming a first-time daddy, he believed God's ginormous claim--and God put credit in his spiritual account!

This Christmas, God calls us to believe that he has a greater future for us than we might imagine.  God-size fulfillment lies on the other side of our less-than-ideal present.

For Abram, it meant that he would be the Father of the One who would break the works of the devil. Nations and kings would issue from him, nearly every nation, tribe, and language has "Abraham's children" who stake a claim in his legacy through faith in the One who comes as a son of Abraham--who is the heir of all things.

God, give us all faith like Abraham. Help us to look at the stars and believe!