As I read through Genesis 15, I am reminded that the heroes of our faith really lived out their faith when put to the test. This particular story reminds me of Solomon.
I have always felt that the story of Solomon was unique. Solomon was the found to be so righteous that Lord wanted to reward. He could have asked for anything in the world, he asks for wisdom. Wow, here’s a guy who has his priorities straight. In fact, Solomon wasn’t just asking for wisdom without purpose. A true man of God feels called to a mission and asks to be equipped for it. This is the heart of Solomon in his request. He doesn’t assume the throne, but rather understands he received it because of who his father was. He is young. Very young. Too young, in his mind, to lead God’s people, so his request is one of desperation. He has everything he could ever want, except something that money can’t buy. Wisdom. His request still brings emotion out of me and stirs my own passion…
You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people? (1 Kings 3:6-9)
I am in awe of this kind of dedication to duty and calling, and I recognize that this is shared by other heroes including Abram. Abram has just returned from battle. He has wealth and land and the promise of God on his side. God promises a reward for his faithfulness, but Abram can think of only one thing he wants – a child. Now, those who have had difficulty bearing children will recognize this desire right away, but again, Abram is not just thinking of himself. He doesn’t just want a child, he’s really concerned about the future. He is concerned that the people who depend on his inheritance will fall under the rule of someone that he is evidently not a fan of.
Abram wants a son so that the influence of his faithfulness won’t be limited to his mortality. He wants the opportunity to raise a child to fear God, as he does. God answers and says that not only will he have a child, but he will live a long life, and have the time he needs to instruct his son in the ways of righteousness. Make no mistake, the way of righteousness is the way of faith, not works. Abram is not young, but without hesitation, he believes, and God “counted it (his faith) to him as righteousness”.
Living lives worth of the calling is important, and it is important to resist the devil and his temptations. However, would you like to really please God? Start believing that He can do great things. Believe He is powerful and that He will deliver.
Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)
As we become more conformed to the character of Christ, I pray that our faith gets better and not just our behavior. I don’t want to just live the Christian life. I want to experience life with Christ.