I’ve been reading in the Old Testament a lot lately, and I have to say, I’m getting to know some fascinating sides of God that I only sort-of knew before, but now truly know and believe. The thing I realized today is how patient God is with us and, though some believe God is not one to give answers or be questioned, as I learned in Genesis 15 today, that’s just not the case.
Genesis 15 covers the covenant God makes with Abraham (then Abram) where He promises to make him the father of as many children as there are stars in the sky. Of course, the big hitting ideas presented are God hinting toward the coming of Christ, and also, the righteous faith of Abram. However, something a little different stuck out to me when I started to see just how this exchange took place between Abram and the Lord.
God to Abram: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”(v.1)
Abram to God: “O Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is (Abrams servant)? You have given me no children, so a servant in my household will be my heir.”(v.2-3)
God to Abram: “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir… Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them… So shall your off-spring be.” (v.4-5)
Abram believed the Lord. (v.6)
*please note: The bible does not give a response for Abram. It only says “Abram believed the Lord.”
The Lord had promised to make a great nation of Abram (Genesis 12) when he was about 75 and his wife Sarah (then Sarai) was about 65 – please correct me if I’m wrong – and they spent years waiting for it to happen… and it still hadn’t happened, and here he was about 100, and Sarai, 90. I don’t know the prayers of Abram’s heart between those two recorded events because the bible doesn’t mention it, but the bible DOES spend a lot of time gushing about the faith of Abram. At this time, I believe I read that Abram was about 100 years old, and his wife, Sarai was 90 or so, God said “it’s going to happen” and Abram believed it. A 30 year old promise and Abram asks God about it ONCE in recorded history. Talk about faith..
However- what I noticed here is that Abram ASKED. Even Abraham, who’s faith was counted to him as righteousness, had questions.
God promised, Abram waited, and eventually, I imagine, because he’s only human, Abram got a little curious.
God came down and mentioned a reward, and Abram was essentially saying, “You’ve blessed me with all this stuff and it’s only going to go to my servant because You haven’t rewarded me with a child to hand it all down to.”
And how does God respond? He reassures Abram.
He doesn’t chastise him.
He doesn’t strike him down.
He doesn’t even threaten to take it all away.
He gently and lovingly reassures His promise (and then follows it up with the covenant that will eventually save all of mankind- what a way to reassure someone, huh?)
See, what I’m seeing here, and I hope you are too, is that God doesn’t mind if we have questions when they’re accompanied with faith. Abram is KNOWN for his faith and even HE had a question for the Lord, and I believe that’s why the Lord was so tender in His response (for some compare and contrast, read God’s response to Job in Job 38).
God doesn’t mind out QUESTIONS, but He does mind our DOUBT.
If you have questions about things, like maybe how things happen or when or why, etc, etc… ASK. ASK THEM. Dont be afraid. But in all of it, believe that the Lord is good, right, and sovereign. And if God doesn’t deliver when you think He should, remember, Abram waited almost 30 years before he even asked.
Have faith, and bring your questions and concerns to God. He longs to have that conversation with you, teach you, and raise you up as His own. He will educate you and if you ask with faith, He will tenderly reveal more of His heart to you, just like He did with Abram.