Today’s Reading: Genesis 15:1-6
Daily Lectionary: Proverbs 22:22-23:12; John 18:15-20
And [the Lord God] brought [Abram] outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Andhe believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:5-6)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Abraham is a 75-year-old man when God first calls him, and promises that his offspring will inherit the most beautiful land his eyes had ever seen. But ten years later, there was still no son; and ten years for a 75-year-old doesn’t leave much time for having children. So Abraham decides to give God a helping hand and have a son with a woman who was not his wife. (Best intentions always sound like a good idea, but they rarely ever are.) It’s another 15 years after the Hagar debacle that Isaac makes his way into the world and Sarah holds her one and only son.
Bottom line: The Lord always keeps His promises. He may seem slow in doing so, at least from our point of view, but He isn’t. When it is good and right, in His time, He fulfills what He has spoken and brings forth what He has always promised. For Abraham, a descendant finally came. And through Isaac, his lineage, as many as the stars in the sky, spiraled forward all the way into the New Testament. But it wasn’t because Abraham cut any sort of covenant with God. He tried to, time and time again, but that had always left things worse than when things began. Sinners do this to the things of God. Whenever we try to make things better, whenever we try to tell God how it is going to be, whenever we promise to Him that we will never fall away, we always end up screwing it up before we can take our next breath.
Abraham is like us, and we are like him. In fact, we are his sons and daughters in faith, the exact same faith that grasps onto the promises of God, because sinners like us can never accomplish anything on our own. So a Son will come, has come, to be (and was) the Ram in thicket thorns who died in our stead and grants us His righteousness through faith. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
The God of Abr’ham praise, Who all-sufficient grace Shall guide me all my pilgrim days In all my ways. He deigns to call me friends; He calls Himself my God. And He shall save me to the end Through Jesus’ blood. (“The God of Abraham Praise” LSB 798, st.3)
-Rev. Eli Lietzau is pastor of Wheat Ridge Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wheat Ridge, CO.
Audio Reflections speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Come on an adventure with author Eric Eichinger as he unpacks the saga of Jesus’ Hero Journey. You’ll see how aspects of this journey are seen in popular stories, and how God used Jesus to create the most action-packed one with a real Savior for all. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.