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Genesis 15:6 (NLT) says, "And Abram believe the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith."
This verse has always astonished me. I've been studying Genesis recently and have been struck once again by this story. Abram, the man who took matters into his own hands and brought such chaos to the world by it, was counted RIGHTEOUS for his faith.
Abram and Sarai didn't have children, even though God promised Abram that he'd be the father of a great nation. Sarai was in her 70's and well past child-bearing years. This made no sense, so they took matters into their own hands. Sarai "gave" her maid, Hagar. to her husband and they had a son. Ishmael is the father of Arabia. (Let's not get into the injustice poor Hagar faced in the pages of this story. That would be a book all on it's own.)
God didn't need their help though. Without a word of chastisement, God gave Abram and Sarai their own son, just as He had promised. That son was Isaac, through whom Abram had his second nation - Israel.
But God counted Abram as righteous for his faith.
Abram had left his home at God's command and gone to a land he didn't know. Once he arrived, the land experienced a severe family. To survive, he'd gone down to Egypt. That was a fiasco, and he'd gone back to Canaan and settled down.
I understand that Abram felt he'd waited long enough, beyond what was reasonable. How often have I tried to make things happen and met with costly failure, rather than just waiting on God in trust and obedience?
What Abram did was culturally appropriate. Had God actually said his son would come through Sarai? I can hear his justifications because I've been very creative with my own.
God was faithful to His promise to Abram and Sarai anyway, and He called them
R I G H T E O U S.
God looks at our whole being, the circumstances swirling around us, the fears we battle from our life experiences, and sees our hearts. Abram's heart wasn't perfect, but it must have been beautiful. God saw something there that was lacking others. God remained faithful to His promise and changed Abram, foreign desert nomad, into Abraham - father of kings, eventually father of The King of Kings.
We aren't going to get it right all the time. We may even make big, life-altering mistakes. But that doesn't change who God is or what He has promised us. God is faithful to us even when we are faithless. He gives us so much grace.
One more thing before I go... God saw Abraham's heart and understood his motives, God looked beyond Abraham's panicked decision-making and even BLESSED the child born of that terrible decision (read Genesis 17:20). If that is the God we serve, then why are we so afraid to make a mistake? If our heart is to serve God and we are trying to do the right thing, even if we get it wrong, God counts us as faithful. This verse inspires me to be BOLD in my service to God. If I get it wrong, God will take care of it. God will take care of even that.
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