After God promises Abram that He will be his shield and very great reward (Gen. 15:1), Abram voices his concern:
O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus? . . . .You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir,” (Gen. 15:2-3).
You may read Genesis 15:1-7 here: Bible Gateway.
The custom in that day held that if Abram died without a son, his oldest servant would become his heir. Even though Abram valued Eliezer, his chief administrator (Gen. 24), he yearned for a son to carry on the family line. And his nephew, Lot—with no record of appreciation for Abram saving his life—had returned to Sodom.
God’s promise of many descendants didn’t align with Abram’s present reality.
But our God—being the God of the impossible—reminded Abram that his son would come from his own body.
Once again, God confirms His promise to Abram (12:2; 13:15-16).
God Credits Abram with Righteousness
Abram’s response in Genesis 15:6 is considered by some to be the most important verse in the Old Testament: “Abram believed the LORD, and He credited [or imputed] it to him as righteousness.”
For the first time, the principle of true salvation is set forth in the Bible. The New Testament not only confirms salvation by faith, but also sets Abraham as a type of all who would be saved (Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6; James 2:23).
God declared Abram clean and morally right—righteous—not from his outward actions of obedience and/or works, (although these are by-products of faith), but rather on the basis of his faith.
In Noah’s case, ‘grace’ comes before ‘righteousness’; in Abram’s case, ‘faith’ comes before ‘righteousness.’ The one stresses God’s sovereignty, the other man’s responsibility. Both are true and necessary. ‘By grace are ye saved through faith. . . . For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Eph. 2:8, 10). – Henry Morris, The Genesis Record
- There are many times when we can’t see God’s big picture for our lives, but He is constantly working to accomplish His purposes. “In all things He works for the good of those who love Him (Rom. 8:28).”
- God has always yearned for His people to trust Him: to believe He is who He says He is and does what He says He will do.
- Today, we live under God’s new covenant: God graciously provides forgiveness of our sins and gives salvation (unto righteousness) through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, because of His atoning sacrifice on the cross.
- Have you taken this step of faith? (For more on salvation and righteousness see: Peace Through Christ.)