Genesis 15.1–6: Righteousness through faith (Day 14)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.

Pray

Pray

Lord, prepare me to receive your word. Clear my mind and warm my heart. Assure me of your loving purposes for me, and speak into my life today.

Reflect

Daily reflection: Genesis 15

In Genesis 15, God makes a formal covenant with Abraham, evidently in a form that would have been recognisable in that ancient Middle Eastern context. However strange the details, the human situation is very recognisable. In an age when eternal significance was reckoned through the number of one's descendants, Abraham can't see a future because he is old and childless. Nevertheless, when God shows him the stars of heaven and promises that his offspring will be as many as they are, Abraham believes him – and, says the writer, God 'counted it to him as righteousness'.

Paul picks up this idea in the New Testament, in Romans 4.3. Abraham wasn't justified before God because of anything he actually did, he says – meaning adherence to the Jewish law of circumcision. All he had to do was believe.

So the New Testament draws on this key moment in the Old for a radical insight: we don't need an apparatus of rituals and human requirements to enter a saving relationship with God. All we need to do is believe. If we stretch out our hand to God, we will find he is stretching out his hand to us.

The simplicity of that idea, which is so central to the gospel, is both powerful and moving. It reminds us that we don't have to do anything to be saved: it has all been done for us.

Pray

Pray

God, thank you for drawing near to us and accepting us as we are. Help me to trust in you alone for my salvation.

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