I gazed at the stars above and was awed by the infinite number that speckled the dark sky. Dots of hope in the deep blackness that surrounded me. I was standing in the wilderness, during a remote camping trip, where no light pollution dimmed the amazing view above. It gave me new perspective on Genesis 15:5-6:
“And He (Abram)took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness (NASB).”
The night sky was a sign to Abram that God is a God of endless possibilities. It is not merely a belief in the fact of God’s power, but a belief that God is who he says he is — that he will do what he promises. There are times we question God because we see no way possible for Him to deliver on His promises. Abram questioned God when God told him, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great (Genesis 15:1).” Abram’s response was, “O Lord GOD, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”
The next verse tells us how God changed Abrams perspective. Where he could only see he had no heirs inside his tent, God took him outside and showed him the infinite possibilities. He gave him a glimpse of the great nation that would descend from him. Abrams response? “Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6).” Abrams righteousness was not born out of his works. As Paul wrote in Romans 4:3, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Paul continues to emphasize this point in Romans 4 — that our righteousness is born out of our faith in God. When we surrender our works and our answers to life’s challenges; when we fall before God and humbly accept His ways; when we shed the limits we place on ourselves and look to the stars and see God’s endless possibilities — our deepening faith in the essence of God gives us righteousness.
© 2021, CGThelen
“For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God, The God who girds me with strength And makes my way blameless?” – Psalm 18:31-32