Greetings, everybody! Welcome to Thursday’s edition of EDiBS, and blessings to each of you in our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s a privilege to be with you today as we gather around God’s Word together, and as we do that today we’ll be continuing in the 15th chapter of Genesis with our ongoing look at Abram and God’s promise upon his life. I’m glad you’re here! Let’s pray as we prepare for our time today.
Lord Jesus, We thank you today for who you are and what you’ve done for us through your life, death, and resurrection. We have no words to express how grateful we are. We thank you. We worship you. We humbly bow before you. In the time we have over these next few minutes, we ask that you bless our study time in your Word. Help us through it to learn and grow in faith toward you, but more important, help us to understand in ever growing fashion your great faithfulness to us. In your precious name we pray, amen.
As we get started today, God continues to speak in a vision to Abram, again reaffirming His promise to give Abram the land of Canaan and to make him into a great nation. Our focus this session: But how?
2But Abram said, "O Sovereign Lord , what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?" 3And Abram said, "You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir."
Have you ever wrestled with doubt? In different ways, at different times, and regarding different issues, we all have. Today we see that even the great patriarch, Abram himself, struggled with doubt.
Just briefly, let’s flesh it out: God comes to him in a vision, speaking blessing and promise and assurance into his life…but Abram, looking at his circumstances and gauging the status quo, can’t reconcile the gap between how things are and how God says they will be in the future. We can almost hear the desperation in his voice: How can I know for sure, God? It’s the age-old question, isn’t it: How can I know for sure?
In this world in which we live, broken by sin, doubt is human. Doubt is natural. It may be unwanted, but our not wanting it doesn’t make it go away.
When Pastor Norman Shirk was still a seminary student in Dallas, Texas, he too wrestled with moments of doubt. One day, he penned what to me is one of the most beautiful expressions of earnest, heartfelt longing that I’ve ever read. My heart so resonates with his words, and I believe Abram’s heart would resonate with them too. Perhaps your heart will as well.
Let me meet you on the mountain, Lord,
You wouldn't have to burn a whole bush.
Just a few smoking branches
And I would surely be...your Moses.
Let me meet you on the water, Lord,
It wouldn't have to be on White Rock Lake.
Just on a puddle after the annual Dallas rain
And I would surely be...your Peter.
Let me meet you on the road, Lord,
You wouldn't have to blind me on North Central Expressway.
Just a few bright lights on the way to chapel
And I would surely be...your Paul.
Let me meet you, Lord,
Just meeting you in the Word is so hard sometimes
Must I always be...your Thomas?
God is not afraid of your doubt. Nor is He offended by it. He is more than big enough to handle your questions and your concerns and even your dark-night-of-the-soul cries of the heart that sometimes come to torment you. God is not only big enough, but He is also loving enough and patient enough and merciful enough to walk with you through your doubts. He is the God who takes the bleakness of uncertainty and turns it into blessed assurance.
When we come together tomorrow, we’ll see how God answers Abram’s uncertainty and doubt. We’ll see how He comes alongside His servant, takes his hand, and leads him from the dark night of the soul into the light of eternal day. As we do that, we’ll be seeing something else: we’ll be seeing how God takes our hand and leads us as well.
If you need to call out, to cry out, to admit your wrestling over God, His ways, or His will, then do it. Now is a good time. Write it down, compose it in a poem, shout it into the night sky…however you need to express it, express it. But would you do this one thing? Let it come out as a prayer, raw and unvarnished and simple and true — just like Abram does in today’s text. Then, having prayed your prayer, leave room in your heart for God to work.
You are dearly loved, everyone…beloved of God, the Father Son and Holy Spirit. May His blessing rest on you as you go through your day. I’ll see you again tomorrow to pick this up again; until then, have a terrific Thursday, and God’s peace!