Summary: Abraham knew the character of God so well that he trusted His Promises even when he could not understand them
I have always liked the story of Abraham – a heathen whose father was a craftsman of idols in Ur of the Chaldees - and who responded to the call of God in his life
And the story in Gen 15 is particularly striking for me – because Gen 15:2 was my baptism verse
“I am your shield, your very great reward. "
It was given to me by an unknown Christian lady at Kensington Temple – an Elim Pentecostal Church where I was baptised by an Anglican vicar!.
But I don’t want to unpack that verse today
I want to look at what I consider to be a WATERSHED verse in the Old Testament
6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Paul refers to this verse twice in the New Testament
- in Romans 4:3 in which Paul says:
What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."
and in Gal 3:4 which says
Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
And the apostle James refers to it in Jas 2:23 which says
And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God’s friend.
Interesting that Abraham was called God’s friend – as a result of his faith.
Why is this verse important?
Because both the Old and New Testament are similar faith based covenants
Abraham looks forward in faith to Christ’s redemption and we look back at Christ’s redemption
Everyone come through the Cross to God - Old or New Testament
In the Old Testament, names meant a lot
Names used to tell you something about the person especially in a society where people were hatched, matched and dispatched in one small village or town.
If someone worked in a mill they might be called Miller and if someone was a blacksmith they might have the surname Smith
In the Old Testament, we find a number of names for God – and these names tell us something about the CHARACTER of our God.
Of course, the most famous found in Exodus when Moses asks God “Who shall I say sent me” And God replies “Tell them that “I am” sent you (Ex 3:14)
Voltaire, the famous French philosopher once said: I think therefore I am
One modern day commentator once said: I shop therefore I am
But God said: “I am who I am”
God is unchanging – his character is based on his absolute dependability.
Here are some of the other names of God that we find in the Old Testament.
Here are some of the names of God that we find in the Old Testament.
1.One name of God we find in the OT is Jehovah tsidkenu (sid kay noo) which means The Lord our righteousness. This is also a Messianic name. Jeremiah refers to it in
Jer. 23:6:.....This is the name by which he will be called “The Lord our Righteousness”
2.Another name for God is Jehovah m’kaddesh which means The Lord who sanctifies. We see this in
Ez 37:28 The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore
3. Another name for God in the OT Jehovah shalom: The Lord (Jehovah) is peace. Shalom means Wholeness/Peace.
It is the name given to the Lord by Gideon
We read in Judges 6:24: So Gideon built and altar to the Lord and called it “the Lord is Peace”
5. Another name for God is Jehovah rophe (rophay): The Lord heals. We see this in
Ex 15:26.... For I am the LORD who heals you
The term “rophe” means to restore, heals, cure - not just in physical sense but in moral sense too.
6. Another name for God in the OT is Jehovah Jireh: The Lord shall provide.
In Genesiss 22 Abraham was tested by God – and called to sacrifice his only son Isaac on Mt Moriah. At the last moment the Angel of God stopped him – and Abraham sacrificed a ram caught in a thicket instead. We read in v 14
So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided”.
7. Another name for God is Jehovah rohu: The Lord is my shephard
(My thanks to Larry Lea for this information)
These names just give you a flavour of the nature of God.
Tne God who is righteousness
The God who brings peace
The God who heals
The God who provides and