Lessons from Abraham By Usman Raza
The Blessings, Tests and Trials of Abraham
In Genesis, the Lord comes to Abraham and says, “Do not be afraid.” After reading Genesis chapter 15, my first observation was does Abraham really have a fear? Quick answer is yes! Even though he was a very faithful man of God, still he had fear of something because the Lord told him to not be afraid. It means that Abraham was faithful, but still afraid.
Similarly, today there are many believers who have faith in Jesus, but still they are afraid of the things happening around them.
Abram had not passed his biggest test of faith. That is why in scripture we see the Lord calling him to walk with God and perfect yourself.
And when Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God. Walk before me and be perfect. (Genesis 17: 1)
Similarly, Jesus calls Christians throughout their lives and asks them to accept the perfection of Jesus Christ in their lives as the Lord God asked Abram. Some Christians accept Jesus as Lord and Savior but still have many fears present in their lives. They think they could be punished even when they are receiving blessings.
Studying the Bible is the best way to keep fear away from your life. The best spiritual weapon is a sword of the spirit that is the word of God. It is sharper than any double-edged sword, according to scriptures.
For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 )
Now let’s look at Genesis chapter 15 again and see what happened and how the Lord God has punished Abram while promising him two blessings.
He had not yet fully become Abraham (he was called Abram before the Lord changed his name to Abraham.)
Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham. For a father of many nations have I made thee. (Genesis 17: 5 )
Abram does not know his God fully or perfectly because he was learning about his God. The Lord appeared to him in vision and said to him do not be afraid. Read verse 1 again.
After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” (Genesis 15:1)
In the very next verse Abram asked the Lord God the question that I believe he should not ask.
And Abram said, “Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?” (Genesis 15:2)
Abram is asking the Lord God what He can give him? In other words, he wants to see the strength and power of the Lord God by asking this question without forgetting He is the Lord and God of all heavens and Earth. He can give Abram anything and more than his request and prayer. Moreover, He can give Abram all he wants without a doubt. Abram is not doubting God, but Abram has not fully understood the Lord God yet. He is on the way toward perfection but has not perfected Abram until now.
The question he asked might come up in a different way or just say Amen to whatever the Lord God said to him in verse one, and because of this straight question, he is putting himself into a test. Right after this question, he asked another question, which is in chapter 15 verse 8,
And He said unto him, “I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.” And he said, “Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?”
After asking this second question, the process of a test started by the Lord God to Abram if you read verse Genesis 15: 9-13.
And he said unto him, “Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not. And when the fowls came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away. And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. And He said unto Abram, “Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years.”
In my opinion if Abram does not ask these two questions, the Lord God might skip this test and punishment of 400 years might never come upon his generations.
Similarly, Christians are asking these types of questions and their imperfection becomes the reason for their judgment. We should simply say Amen to whatever the Will of Heaven Father is instead of doubting or asking for proof of His ability. However, our Father in Heaven knows very well how to convert our weaknesses into strengths.
And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. (Genesis 15:14)
Usman Raza is a CEO and the co-founder of Christian Marketing Experts and a content marketing specialist at PSD to WordPress, A.I.M. for High Ground, and The Dressing Table. He is devoted to helping small businesses bridge success gaps by providing in-depth, actionable advice on digital marketing, SEO, and small business growth.
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