Prepare to Listen. Light the 1st purple candle and pray: Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his presence continually.
Prayerfully Read Genesis 15:1-6
After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.’ 2But Abram said, ‘O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?’ 3And Abram said, ‘You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.’ 4But the word of the LORD came to him, ‘This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.’ 5He brought him outside and said, ‘Look towards heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ 6And he believed the LORD; and the LORD reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Once again the LORD appeared to Abraham with a reassuring word: “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” It’s the sort of word some of us would love to hear from God. We think we’d be assured and comforted. But Abraham wasn’t. He protested, complaining about his continued childlessness, so that a slave was his heir. Silence. No response from God, so he repeated his protest. Then the LORD said: “no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.” God brought him outside, made him look at the uncountable stars, saying, “So shall your descendants be.”
Abraham was silenced. Inexplicably “he believed the LORD; and the LORD reckoned it to him as righteousness.” Inexplicable because stars in the sky aren’t proof of a son for this barren man and his barren wife. His belief had nothing to do with human reasoning but rather, as Brueggemann notes, it was based “on a primal awareness that God is God.”  The God who possessed power to create the stars would have no difficulty in giving children to an old barren couple. Abraham’s faith was rooted, not in a now-believable promise, but in the One who made the promise. He moved from protest to belief, not by knowledge or persuasion, but by the power of God who causes belief and hope.
Abraham’s faith wasn’t pious acceptance, but hard-fought and argued. Protesting is necessary and acceptable to God. If you need to, be bold and argue with God and see what God will do.
Respond in Prayer
O Lord your promises remain unbelievable unless you create belief in us. I humbly bow before you, the only One able to change barrenness into fruitfulness, my protests into belief. Amen.
Live Obediently. Trust God to turn your protests to belief.
 Brueggemann, Walter. Genesis. Atlanta, GA: John Knox Press. 1982, p. 143.
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Reading my Bible has been central in my life since I received my first Bible at 8 years of age. My decades of reading, studying and teaching the Bible gives my devotions a unique and enriching perspective. Reflecting on Jesus' family tree enriched my understanding of Jesus and the salvation he offers.