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After Abram refused to take rewards from the evil king of Sodom, God talked to Abram. He said, “Don’t be afraid, Abram! I am your protection. I am the One who will reward you.”
Abram had a question about that. “Lord,” he asked, “What will You give me since I still don’t have any children? Since You have not given me a child, then once I die, a servant of mine will get everything that You’ve given to me.”
“That’s not what will happen,” God said. “You will have a son.” God took Abram outside the tent. It was nighttime, and God told him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars — if you are even able to count them!”
Abram looked up at the sky, and smiled at God. Of course Abram could not count all the stars! He would have to stand there all night to even count the stars in one tiny, little part of the sky. There were thousands and thousands and thousands of stars shining bright in the middle of a black, black sky!
“That’s what your children will be like,” God said.
To some that may have seemed impossible, but Abram believed God. He was absolutely sure that God could do anything He promised.
And when God saw that Abram believed Him with such a deep faith, He thought, “Ah, Abram really does love Me.”
Do you know what Faith is? Faith is seeing God’s Thoughts and Opinions as more real than anything we see with our own physical eyes. Faith is swapping our seen-world-only eyes for God’s UnSeen world eyes.
Why do we do that? Because we know that GOD is the One who made the seen world. So, if God says that you will have as many children as the stars, you believe HIM, not your physical eyes. That’s Faith. (And we’ll keep helping you understand this word as we go along — because it’s very important.)
A few days later God talked to Abram again. God said, “I am the one who brought you to this place. It is far, far, far away from where your were born. But I brought you here, Abram, because I want this land to be yours. I am giving it to you.”
Wow, another amazing promise! Abram said, “Can this really be true, God? How can I know I will have this land?”
So God made a covenant with Abram. Do you know what a covenant is? It’s a very, very special promise that two people make to each other. But this covenant was between a man and the God of Heaven and Earth. Wow!
So God told Abram, “Take a cow, a goat, a ram, a dove and a pigeon, and line the pieces up.” Abram obeyed God, just like he always did. Then Abram waited.
In those days when people made a covenant, they would sometimes cut animals in half and line the pieces in rows. And the person making the covenant walked through the rows and said the promises out loud. That is what God wanted to do with Abram!
After awhile the sun went down, and it got dark. Abram fell asleep. Then suddenly, God spoke. He was ready to say His promise!
“Abram, I have made you two promises. The first promise is that you will have children. The second promise is that I will give you this land. But I want to tell you a secret about what will happen a long time from now. Your children and their children will go to live in a far-off country. They will become slaves in that country, and people will treat them very, very badly for a long, long time. But after 400 years, your children and their children will get to come back to this place. They will come right back to this land I am giving you.”
Next God did an amazing thing! A pot with smoke and a burning torch started floating through the air between the animal pieces, with nobody holding them! God was making a covenant with a man… His friend, Abram.
Abram believed God even though he didn’t have any children for quite awhile. But a few years later, God reminded Abram of their covenant. God said to Abram, “Keep walking with Me. Keep obeying. Keep trusting. I will give you sooooo many children.”
“In fact, I’m changing your name. Your mommy and daddy named you Abram. But I’m going to change your name to Abraham. That name means ‘father of many children.’ And that is what you will be! And I want you to do something as a reminder that we have an agreement about this. I want you to cut away a little piece of skin on all the men and boys in your household. Do this to all the boys now, and in the future. Anyone who does not have that little bit of skin cut away, will be cut out of our deal.”
As you hear this big, looong story… you’ll see how God keeps His promises to Abraham. God was not just talking about Abraham having lots and lots of physical children, although God was going to give Abraham a child just like He’d promised.
But Abraham was going to multiply, multiply, multiply, not because his wife is going to have a bunch of babies, but because in time, Abraham’s FAITH will multiply. Abraham’s attitude of believing is what is going to have more and more and more children.
Abraham is going to become the daddy of ALL WHO BELIEVE. The daddy of everyone who will have Faith in God. The daddy of everyone who will allow God to cut out from a hidden place their affections and connections to the world and to sin.
And these People of FAITH will be the stars in the sky! They will be bright stars shining against the black night. God will have a people like that. And it won’t be about who your daddy or your mommy is. And it won’t be about anything having to do with your flesh’s skin and bones. God’s Big Plan was WAY bigger than that.
So, Keep Listening so you can find out how one day YOU can be one of these stars!