Today in the first reading we heard God change Abram’s name to Abraham. The way the word breaks down in Hebrew is “av or ab” for “Father” and “hamon” for “many” when combined it means “father of many.” God’s promise to Abraham is that he would become the Father of many nations. However if you know the story his wife Sarah was barren most of her life. Abraham had to put his full faith and trust in God that he would give him many descendants.
This point is illustrated one of the instances where God promises Abraham many descendants. We may know the story quoted here below.
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.” But Abram said, “O Lord God, what wilt thou give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Elie′zer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, thou hast given me no offspring; and a slave born in my house will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; your own son shall be your heir.” 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 descendants be.” And he believed the Lord; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness.Genesis 15:1-6
Don’t stop reading at this point. If you go a few more verses down you will find something surprising.
As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram; and lo, a dread and great darkness fell upon him.Genesis 15:12
It appears to me at-least that God took Abram out in the middle of the day and said. Number the stars, if you are able to number them. In a way Abram only sees one star. He knows though that there are millions of stars he cannot see because the Sun is blocking them out. When we read this passage in context the meaning of this vision becomes even clearer to us. God not only repeated his promise to Abram he showed him that even though you won’t see your descendants they will still come about.
I hope we can have the same faith as Abraham. We may not see what is coming for us in our salvation but we can still have faith that God will save us. May we use this coming Holy Week to strengthen our faith in God!
A note: this insight isn’t my own I thank Jeff Cavins and the Great Adventure Bible series for this insight.
Photo via Adobe Stock: grandfailure