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Week:08, Season:1, 2016 Posted on Saturday by PCT

Say “Yes” to God

Scripture:Genesis 15:1-12; 17-18

15 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.’ 2 But Abram said, ‘Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?’ 3 And Abram said, ‘You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.’ 4 Then the word of the Lord came to him: ‘This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.’ 5 He took him outside and said, ‘Look up at the sky and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ 6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness. 7 He also said to him, ‘I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.’ 8 But Abram said, ‘Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I shall gain possession of it?’ 9 So the Lord said to him, ‘Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.’ 10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away. 12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking brazier with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.’

The Bible study today is chosen from Genesis chapter 15 about God coming to Abram again. This happened after “the call of Abram” written in chapter 12: God said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. (Genesis 12:1-3)”

God’s promise had not come true

God requested Abraham (Abram) to leave his hometown and family, and go to the place God wanted him to go. God promised to Abraham that he would have many children whom would become a great nation. However, as time went by, Abraham still hadn’t got any children. God’s promise to Abraham had not come true.

As Abraham got older each day, his health deteriorated, and his wish to have children seemed to become an impossible dream. There were no sons and daughters but only a lonely old couple in his family. How come this was so far away from what God had promised him that his offspring would become a great nation? Abraham seemed destined to die without children, hope and future.

One day, in Abraham’s vision, he heard God say to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward. (Genesis 15:1)” The word sent by God shook Abraham’s heart as God sent his powerful message to Abraham when he was worried about his future. God said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram!”

Abraham complaint to God

By the time Abraham received God’s word of assurance, he was probably very disappointed with God. He did not hold out any hope for the promise of children anymore. So he thought: my future will not change at all! God promised me many children but this was just a deception! However, God did not abandon Abraham. He was always protecting Abraham and had given him great land as a reward. Though Abraham had huge lands, he still needed offspring to inherit these. This land was not only given for Abraham’s children but to the many later generations of his heir.

When Abraham heard God’s word of assurance, he did not feel joyful. He still remembered the promise given by God many years ago that he would have many children and lands. So Abraham boldly complained to God, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus? You have given me no childrenso a servant in my household will be my heir.”

God heard Abraham’s complaint and replied, “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” God then took Abraham outside and asked him to count the stars. God said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars – if indeed you can count them. So shall your offspring be.” Who can count the stars? Only God can. The God who created so many stars definitely has power to give Abraham a son. This God is powerful and he will bring hope and joy to Abraham and his wife who have longed for a son for so long.

Bravely say “yes” to God

The promise given to Abraham by God in chapter 15: 4-5 was not far from God’s original promise to him, even he complained to God (15:2-3). But Abraham believed God right away after he heard God’s word to him now. What made him change his mind so quickly? Was it because Abraham felt renewed by the word? Was it because he had new expectations of his wife, Sarah? What changed Abraham’s mind was that he began to trust the Lord who had made promises to him. He allowed God’s promise to guide his way of life.

What is the message from the Bible passage saying to us today? What can we learn from Abraham? Perhaps some of us are waiting to make the brave decision of accepting the call from God like Abraham did; perhaps some of us are going to give up God’s call because many others seem to disagree. No matter what challenge you may be facing, to respond to God’s call truly requires faith and courage!

Genesis 15:6 says, “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” As a true faith follower does not mean that you and I will never doubt or question the Lord. As described in the passage today, Abraham also worried about his life and doubted God. This is Abraham’s human nature like all of us; when he felt that God’s promise was not proved, he began to question and worry. But the point is, Abraham chose to follow God and allowed God’s promise to guide his way of life. At the end of the story, Abraham said “yes” to God. He surrendered before God and honored God as the owner of his humble life.

Do you sometime worry and doubt like Abraham did on your journey of faith? Even so, are you still willing to trust in God like Abraham and walk with God? Our God is a God who makes promises and makes a covenant with us; “he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. (Deuteronomy 7:9)”

For discussion:

1. What are the worries and doubts you have now on the journey of faith?
2. Do you think a true follower of faith will still have worries and doubts?
3. Are you willing to let God’s promise guide your way of life? Are you willing to say “yes” when he calls you to follow him?

Please pray for:

1. The wisdom of God to be given to all church brothers and sisters, and help us to distinguish His promises from our own desires.
2. Faith and courage from God to help us to trust in him and follow him whenever worries and doubts come.


God who promised Abraham, we give thanks to your guidance and protection to us in the past. Though we encountered many difficulties and challenges on the journey of faith, you helped us to keep following you. We admit that there are still many doubts and worries in our life; please help us and strengthen us, so we can have power and courage to walk with you again. In the name of Christ, Amen.

Something you can do:

1. During your quiet time this week, try to think of the worries, challenges and doubts you may have on the journey of faith now? Write them down and pray for God’s guidance.
2. During the week, review what this Bible passage tells you today. If you were Abraham, how would you react to not having any children? Would you be distressed? Complain to God? Trust in God? Follow his plan? Try to think some possible hindrances which prevent you from following God and saying “yes” to the Lord.