This story of Abram is one of my favorites in the Bible. Abram’s character was so obvious throughout these pages. Sure, he made a few pretty big mistakes, but he was able to hear God and to believe Him. That was amazing.
It’s clear that God was establishing a vision for Abram, so that he could believe in his future. In 13:14-17, God told him to “lift his eyes” and that as far as he could see, the land would be given to his descendants. Then he went on to say that Abram’s descendants would be as plentiful as the dust of the earth.
In chapter 15: 5-7, God told Abram to look at the stars and count them. His descendants would be as numerous as the stars.
God gave Abram three visuals to build his faith. Every time he went outside, he could look at the dust or look at the stars and remind himself of God’s promise. Then he would lift up his eyes and see the horizon far away, and think that this land would some day belong to his descendants. His faith could be built bit by bit as he thought about what God had said.
In 15:8 the word says that Abram ” believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” It was Abram’s faith in God that made God think of him as a righteous man. That’s still the way it is today. God is looking for people who will believe Him. Even in seemingly impossible situations, God will bring us through, if we believe Him and His promises.
Just one more note. In 15: 13-16, God gives Abram a prophecy which tells what will happen to his descendants. It speaks of going into Egypt and staying for 400 years – just as it happened.
Then He addresses another issue. He says that they shall return in the fourth generation, “because the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” These people were eventually going to be judged by God and their land taken from them. But He was waiting for their evil to reach a certain point before He would judge them. Their evil wasn’t yet “complete.”
Something to think about, huh?
Jesus continues to disclose some secrets of the Kingdom of God. When men are living their lives to impress others around them, they are missing the mark. Jesus says that if you are giving, or praying, or fasting, do it in secret. I don’t think that He means that no one can ever know what you are doing. I think that He is giving a warning that what others think of you is not important. What God thinks of you is important.
So many Pharisees of the day were strutting around, looking important, trying to impress others. Yet humility, not pride, is the way into God’s kingdom. They were missing the mark.
In verses 22-23 He says that the “lamp of the body is the eye.” And He speaks of good or bad eyes. He’s speaking of “your point of view.” people can look at the same circumstances and draw different conclusions. He is warning the people to be careful that their point of view is not contrary to God’s.
Then He tells us to “seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Every time I read these verses, I am convicted to be more in tune with God’s voice and His plan, to believe more, and to be more “single-minded” about my faith in my Savior.