We have all had those moments when we hear one thing, but our minds believe another. Our temptation is to ignore what doesn’t make sense or to force it to make sense. Even if we are not active in our attempt, our minds are trying to resolve the conflict. What do you do when something doesn’t line up in your mind? In your experience? Or maybe even your gut? We all do something.
Abram did something. Abram asked questions. God was saying one thing and Abram was experiencing another. God promised Abram offspring and descendants, yet he was still childless. God repeated his promise, yet Abram’s situation stayed the same. After God repeated himself again saying, “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great,” Abram replied, “O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless?” (Genesis 15:1–2).
God, in his patience and graciousness, repeated himself and got even more specific. He said, “your very own son shall be your heir. . . . Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them. . . . So shall your offspring be” (Genesis 15:4–5). It says that Abram believed the Lord, and God counted it to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6). Abram’s belief was aligned with God’s ways.
We all need echoes, or reminders, of God’s faithfulness. We get discouraged, we get weary in waiting, and we question who God is and what he will do. God welcomes our honesty, our questions, and our weariness. He sees our humanity, and he meets us in our frailty. Sometimes we are afraid to question God aloud. We may not have friends who let us question God. But God allows us to ask, to express, and to be honest with him about our confusion and discouragement.
And he is gracious to give us these reminders. We see them in the life of Abram, the lives of others in Scripture, and even in the life of Jesus. We need reminders, and God does not get upset that we ask. He is gracious to give.
As we learned earlier, God moves toward action and makes a promise (Genesis 15:7–21). Abram didn’t have to do anything, and he didn’t have to make sense of it all. God would completely and unilaterally take care of these promises. God would line it all up.