In Weakness, God's Strength

Genesis 12-15

Abram continued the journey his father had started. God called him to leave the comfort of Haran to go to Canaan. He knew his destination but he knew nothing about the place to which God had called him. But he went. We have in these chapters a picture of a man in constant motion—not just the motion of moving, but in the struggles of adjusting. The Canaanites were in the land and without a doubt were not pleased to have their space invaded. Sounds like our reaction to immigrants, doesn’t it?

Sometimes those adjustments weren’t well done. Abram adjusted to his fears of having the Pharaoh make him disappear because of his beautiful wife by lying about who she was. Even our heroes of the faith have clay feet from time to time.

Abram had to deal with fractious relatives. Sometime close family ties are better preserved from a distance. Unhappily Lot chose the wrong place to pitch his tent and ended up being kidnapped. That situation turned his uncle into a military leader as he raced to the rescue of his nephew’s family. Worse was to come because Lot didn't learn from this first nasty experience.

All through these struggles, God continued to speak to Abram, renewing his promises to bless the man and his family and to make him great. In chapter 15 we finally hear from Abram about the situation.

But Abram said, ‘O Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless…?’” (15:2).


Abram didn’t push the issue when God promised that he would have his own son who would inherit all that God was going to give Abram. He simply believed: “Abram believed the Lord and he credited it to him as righteousness” (15:6).

But that brought up another issue. God promised to give Abram a land inhabited by others.


But Abram said, ‘O Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?’” (15:8).

The Scriptures then record how God revealed himself to Abram and confirmed the veracity of the promise he had made.

Were these expressions of doubt on Abram’s part? His actions in Egypt and what will happen in coming chapters remind us that even Abram’s faith was not always as strong as one might wish it to be. In God's presence, Abram found it easier to believe than when confronted by the crisis. It’s always easier for me to believe when I am in church singing the songs of faith, surrounded by my brothers and sisters and sensing the presence of God among his people. It’s more difficult when, alone, I am faced with challenges.

But God’s faithfulness was not effected by Abram’s momentary lapses. God took him safely through the impossible journey. God protected him in Egypt despite his lies. God gave him a son in spite of the impossibility of becoming a father by his wife at her advanced age. God gave him the land even though it was inhabited by others.

It would seem that our faith is never pure. It is always tainted with doubts and fears. We can never say that it was because of the purity of our faith that God responded to our needs and requests. In the end, he responds because he is faithful to his character, to his program, to us, and to making us into that nation that will bring glory to his name.


  1. Yes- only His strength can get us through our own weakness. Blessings, my friend!

  2. The Bible doesn't give us any perfect heroes. Only Jesus is to be worshipped. As you mention, the others all have feet of clay. Different from the "holy" writings of other religions, isn't it?


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