Summary: God goes into more detail with His promises to Abram and Abram's faith grows.
I. The Promises.
Gen 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great."
• God renews His promise. Abram renews his practice of worshiping and meeting with God.
• God said, “Did you see how I gave you those five kings with no losses?
• “Stick with me and two things you can count on: my protection and my reward, which is great.
II. The Problem.
Gen 15:2-3 But Abram said, "O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" 3 And Abram said, "Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir."
• Abram basically said, “God, all you promise is really not important to me if I don’t have a child.
• “Right now, a servant’s child is going to be the heir of what you give me, and that just doesn’t light my fire.”
III. The Provision.
Gen 15:4 And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: "This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir."
• God answer him and said, “No, your own son, one from your body, will be the owner of what I give you.”
IV. The Precision.
Gen 15:5 And he brought him 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."
• “Let me show you something, Abram. Count the stars. Take your time. When you’re finished, or if you give up, just let me know.”
• In an article written in 2004, it was estimated that there were 100 thousand million stars in the Milky Way alone. According to the European Space Agency.
• Kind of makes you proud, doesn’t it, that being our home galaxy and all.
• The estimates were that there were that many galaxies, too, with that many stars in each galaxy.
• The last number I read, there are more than 1027 stars.
• That means there are more stars than there are grains of sand on the planet earth.
• Go figure. We live in a huge universe.
• In Abram’s days, before coal powered electrical plants, fuel burning factories, carbon emitting cars and other pollution, you could look up in the sky and see many more stars with the naked eye.
• OK, I said it, the N word, naked. Just kidding.
• I suspect Abram gave up quickly and God said, “So shall your family be across the earth.”
V. The Process.
Gen 15:6-7 And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness. 7 And he said to him, "I am the LORD who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess."
• Abram said, “OK, Lord, I am going to believe the best I can.”
• Sometimes the best we can is all we can. We need God to help us believe.
VI. The Petition.
Gen 15:8 But he said, "O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?"
• Now, I want to remind you that Abram didn’t have the Bible.
• He didn’t have Hebrews 11:1, which said, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
• The less of the Word of God people had in their days, the more they had to see to believe completely.
• For us, we have the Word of God.
• Rom 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
• Abram asked, “Show me something, God. How can I believe more?”
VII. The Proof.
Gen 15:9 He said to him, "Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon."
Gen 15:10 And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half.
Gen 15:11 And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
• God said, “OK, I will give you another object lesson.
• “Take a three year old heifer, a female three year old goat, a ram that is three years old, a turtledove and a young pidgin.
• “Now cut up the big stuff and stack it up and wait.”
• Some buzzards looked down and thought they would grab some of the meat for a snack.
• Abram chased them away.
• I am not going to go into what the different animals could have represented or what the dividing the big animals and leaving the birds whole means.