Scripture Texts: Genesis 15; Jeremiah 34:18-20; Romans 4
God gives a promise to Abram before the promise of being the father of a great nation. God tells Abram to not be afraid because God will protect Abram and his reward will be great. For many of us that would be enough of a promise but not for Abram. Right away Abram complains to God that he does not have an heir and that all the Lord has bestowed upon him will be handed off to a servant.
It is hard to realize what a big deal this was because we do not seem to think about this as much as people did in the days of Abram. We can just know this was a really big deal and Abram was really fretting over not having an heir. God responds very quickly, "No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir." (v. 4) God has just told Abram to not worry, and Abram worries. Then God tells Abram why he should not worry, because God has the plan well at hand.
It was credited righteousness to Abram that he decided to submit to God's plan at that point and the full promise of not just one son, but of many nations and descendants was given. We have to wonder how the promise of God would have come to reality if Abram would have chosen a different course.
In our marriage we have not received the promise that we will be the parents of many nations and people, in fact we are fairly confident that three is our number. Yet, we do have the same promise that God gave to Abram before the big promise. We do not need to be afraid of the days ahead because God will protect us. Not because we have cut up animals for sacrifice like Abram, and not because we have perfectly kept the Law of Moses all the days of our lives. The promise of God is ours because we belong to God. Long before we went on our first date and certainly before we even entertained the idea of being together each of us made a decision that changed everything.
This has not always meant that we have been safe, or that we have not worried. It means that we have been able to cling to the promise of God in Christ and to each other. To this day we make every effort to continue to follow the plan that God puts before us and trust in the protection and hope we find in Jesus.