I woke up exciting this morning, not because I'm going to St. Aug or I get to bake or I get to hang out with kids (but I am excited about all those things). I was excited because I knew I was going to be reading Gen 15 today in my quiet times. I love familiar passages - and pray I get something even more out of them - that God would again open the words of LIFE to me and expand my knowledge and faith in HIM. And, he did.
Over the past 3 years I've gotten to sit under JD who loves this passage, whether in sermons or in weddings, he often he refers to it. I love it. I love the tradition in Judiasm that brings it to life: the wedding and the 2 fathers that make a covenant with each other with sacrifices). But, more, I love the message of God's covenant keeping nature that is behind this passage.
Abram is traveling along in this relationship with God. He is fearful and questioning (don't I do the same). But, God is patient and answers it - one more time (and one more time, and one more time after that). He answers it with a Covenant. With himself. God is not in demand of anyone else to keep His Covenant. As JD always put it, God makes a covenant - if we (humans) break this covenant - which we have by sin, this was indeed after the fall - He'll pay the price, and if He breaks the covenant, which He won't do - He'll pay the price. Does this sound familiar - JESUS.
But, even after this, Abram still has to wait. He has Ishmael. That was 9 years after the first questioning - but then he still has to wait another 14 years for Isaac.
Oh, that God would help me in my unbelief and strengthen the faith I have - not in my abilities, or my calling, or my life, but only in His Covenant Keeping abilities and character and GODness!