Snapshots: Day 20
The Snapshot: “Abram, I am your shield.” That’s great, Lord, but what about the fact that I am still childless. It seems that sometimes God’s encouraging words (often through a preacher) just don’t seem to hit where I am itching. Lord, there are bigger issues than you protecting me. I am lacking – still! And there I have choices, either to become jaded and critical or let the Lord build trust, patience and perseverance in me. It seems all the way along this Christian path there are these vital choices. I am sure they won’t affect my ultimate destination but they will determine the type of person I will be when I leave here. Abram learned it and became known as ‘God’s friend’. What will I learn and by what will I be remembered?
Further Consideration: The path to believe – which we’ll consider tomorrow – is rarely an easy one. When we come to Christ it seems so wonderful that we go through what is often called ‘the honeymoon period’ where everything seem just perfect, and then we start to learn the realities of this world, this life, perhaps the realities that sometimes demand patience or perseverance from us, realities that it is sometimes a battle, and we start to grow up!
Gen 15 starts with an ‘after this’. It prompts us to look back – Abram has arrived in the promised land, a famine strikes so he flees to Egypt where he has problems, he comes back to the land and there is quarreling between his herders and Lot’s, and so they separate, Lot gets embroiled in a local war and Abram has to go an rescue him. It has not been an easy time.
So when the Lord says to Abram, “I will be your shield” He is bringing him reassurance that even if this fallen world is unpredictable and often hostile, He will look after him and protect him.
But then Abram complains about having no child. It’s a natural anxiety but it is a bit like saying, “Yes, well, that’s all very well, but what about my reputation and my future,” and in so doing he demonstrates what we do so often. The Lord speaks into our circumstances and because we have some other particular worry on our mind, we tend to dismiss this latest promise that was intended to encourage. It’s a sign we need to grow up and learn to realize that God has got ALL my issues in hand. He’s already told Abram that he will have children and so now He is giving him an additional reassurance – but Abram hasn’t yet let the previous promise settle in his heart and so hasn’t fully taken on board that whatever the outward appearances may be, God is still working on his case and so will bring a child at the right time. Can we learn to take on board all that God has said to us and let it transform us into a trusting child of God?