Chapter 15 starts off with God renewing his promise to Abram with the words “I am your shield, your very great reward”. That is what God was offering Abram. In a sense offering himself through the birth of Jesus the snake crusher.
But Abram misconstrues this to mean that God will bless him with great wealth and land and quickly speaks his mind that the inheritance that God is promising him in the future is of no use to him without a legal heir. He will surely not be alive to enjoy it and since he does not have any sons (not yet) his servant Eliezer’s family would reap the benefits.
Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness – Genesis 15:6
Surely his faith in God was far from perfect as in the very next verse he asks for a sign from God to help him believe and also the events of the next chapter and his treatment of Hagar tell a different story.
But what this verse tells us is that righteousness can only be achieved through belief in God who cleanses us and not in any laws or anything that we can do as the imperfect Abram is deemed righteous by God.
Questions discussed in this Podcast
V2: Why would Eliezer inherit Abram’s possessions when Lot is still alive?
V6: What does Abram’s belief was credited to him as righteousness mean?
V8: Abram’s belief is credited to him as righteousness but soon after Abram is asking for signs to support his belief, is it okay to ask signs from God?
V10: A very peculiar way of sacrificing by cutting the animals in half, why does God ask this of Abram?
V12: “Thick and dreadful darkness” is not something we associate with God, why does God reveal himself to Abram in this manner?
V13: Why does God say that He is giving the land to Abram and then says that for 400 years his descendants will be strangers in that very same land? How is Abram okay with such a long-term plan?
V15: You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. Are Abraham’s relatives in heaven?
V18: Why does God keep renewing his covenant with Abram?
Are we like Abram misinterpreting God’s promise to us, God wants to accomplish his purpose in our lives while we have our own hidden agenda?