God told Abraham (i) to get out of his home land, without telling him where to go; (ii) He would make him a great nation, without telling him where this nation would be (at his death, Abraham’s only land was his burial ground); (iii) all people would be blessed through him, without telling him how he could have a child at his old age; and (iv) to sacrifice his child, without telling him why. Gen12&22.
Each time, Abraham believed God. Gen15:6. He trusted and anchored in God’s words, not his abilities, possessions, relatives, friends, or looks.
But Abraham did struggle in his faith. For example, he asked God how he could be sure of His words. Gen15:8. God told Abraham to get a few animals. At once Abraham knew God intending to sign a contract with him. Gen 15:9-10. In their culture, to seal a deal, parties got an animal, cut it into pieces, grouped them into two columns, and walked between the columns, showing symbolically the party breaking the deal to be cut into pieces. Jeremiah 34:18-20.
In this case, it was different. A blazing torch passed between the two columns. The torch signified God, as in Mount Sinai and the pillars of fire in the desert. The process represented God making a deal with Abraham. V17-18. But only God walked between the columns, all by Himself, without Abraham.
Basically God told Abraham that He would take his place; if Abraham didn’t stick to the agreement, God would be cut into pieces. God’s action enabled Abraham to live a life of faith.
God didn’t say He helps those who help themselves!
Because of His own promise, God took the curse. For our sins, Christ was ripped into pieces, and was cut off from God the Father. Mark 15:33 and Isaiah 53:8.
We worry, disobey, and don’t believe God. We think if we trust all the way, we will miss out.
Like Abraham, John the Baptist also had doubts. John asked Christ whether He was the one. We could do the same. We could ask God, “How can we know you would follow through? How can we know we wouldn’t let you down?” Then, listen to His response.
Irrespective of what we do, Christ already paid the price, by Himself.
May we believe Him and anchor in His words. May God be our shield and our reward. Gen15:1.
Adapted from a Tim Keller sermon.
上帝告诉亚伯拉罕（i）离开他的家乡，却没有告诉他要去哪里; （ii）上帝会令他成为一个伟大的国家，而不告诉他这个国家将在哪里（在他去世时，亚伯拉罕唯一的土地是他的墓地）; （iii）所有人都会通过他而得到祝福，却没有告诉一个年纪老迈的他还可以有孩子; 和（iv）以他的孩子为祭品，然而不告诉亚伯拉罕为什么 (创世纪 12：22)。
亚伯拉罕每次都相信上帝 (创世纪 15：6)。他坚持地信靠上帝的话语，不是他自己的能力，财产，亲戚，朋友或外表。
但亚伯拉罕确实在信仰上经历过挣扎。例如他问上帝他怎么能确定上帝的话 (创世纪 15：8)。上帝便告诉亚伯拉罕找一些动物来。亚伯拉罕立刻知道上帝打算与他签订合同 (创世纪 15：9-10)。在他们那时的文化中，为了达成协议，各方找一些动物, 将动物切成段块，然后分成两堆，最后在它们中间走过。这代表着如一方违了契约，他便像这动物一样，切成段块（耶利米书 34：18-20）。
上帝因为祂自己的承诺接受了诅咒。为着我们的罪，基督被撕成段块，与父神隔绝 （马可福音15:33 和 以赛亚书53：8）。
无论我们如何反应，基督将自己已成为代价。愿我们坚定地相信基督与祂的话语。愿上帝成为我们的盾牌和荣耀 (创世纪 15：1)。