Have you ever noticed the difference with how some people want information? For example, when a birth announcement is made some people just want to know if it is a boy or a girl and some want to know the time of birth, weight, length, and full name. Some people are detail oriented and others are not. I personally like to have details. When my husband is telling about his day, I will ask him a lot of questions. My questions annoy him at times because he really didn't pay attention to what seemed like unimportant details. For me, details give me a bigger picture and help me to better interpret what is happening. I think Abraham was a detail person, because today we are going to be reading about a request for details regarding the promises God gave him; please read Genesis 15:8-21.
Just before this scene, God promised Abram more descendants than he could count and we are told that Abram believed God and God credited him as righteous because of his faith. That is incredible! Incredible that Abram was childless and probably in his eighties by this point and he believed that it would happen. Then right after that God promised that Abram would inherit the land that he was on. The next thing we read is Abram questioning God. The way the NLT interprets verse 8 is, “O Sovereign Lord, how can I be sure that I will actually possess it?” The NIV words it similarly and this bothered me! This is because it didn't seem like a strong belief or faith statement. When I looked it up in the Hebrew, I saw that the word that is used is mah which can mean how or what. It can also mean "by what means?" So, in a sense, Abram may have been asking, "Can I know by what means this will happen?" or, "Can I know how this will happen?" Another reason I am leaning this direction is because that is the way God answers this question. God tells him how it is all going to happen - over 400 hundred years into the future.
To me, this is encouraging because it reminds us that it is okay to ask. We may not get the answer we want, but it is okay to ask God for more details. God was not frustrated with Abram's question so we see that asking for more information is not a weakness in faith. Have you ever felt called to something or felt God lay something on your heart? Has God given you a dream to work toward? Have you ever wondered how it was going to happen? Have you ever thought about asking God how? Be encouraged and know that it is okay to ask! Believing God and asking for details are two different things and it is okay to ask for details. Just remember that God will only reveal to us what He feels is best for us.
Are you comfortable asking God your questions?
This post is linked with Thought Provoking Thursday and the Grace Cafe.