Count Your Blessings Devo
Daily Reading: (Genesis 15:1):
“After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward.”
Something troubling must have happened to Abram for this message to be not afraid to come to him. As you may have noticed, he is not yet called Abraham, the name change that will instill faith to receive the promise is coming. In the chapter before in Genesis 14:14 it says, “When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan.”
Now when you get to chapter fifteen we get a fuller picture of what is happening in Abram’s life when the vision came.
“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” What does it mean for the Lord to be your shield and your very great reward? In chapter 14 the king of our righteousness Jesus Christ appeared to Abram and told him the victory was given to him by the Lord. Now here in chapter 15, God comes to Abram in a vision. Abram is battling fear, perhaps because his relative Lot was taken captive from battle and so who knows what might happen to him? Maybe we need more men, maybe we need better walls, a stronger fortress. This is what we do in our lives at times when something bad has happened. Even after the Lord gave him the victory and Lot was rescued and his life was enriched from the spoils of war, the enemy still has planted seeds of fear, doubt, and insecurity. “Do not be afraid”. The shield you need, the protection you seek in your life, you will find in God.
Listen to Abram’s response: “But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?’”
Abram uses the name of God Adonay which means Sovereign Lord. Why is this important? This is a statement of faith, it is saying that God is the ultimate source of all power, authority, and everything that exists. The Word of God came to Abram in a vision and instilled faith in Abram to not be afraid. Faith would bring Abram to share his need with the One who has the ultimate power to act on his behalf (Genesis 15:1-2).
Abraham and Sarah wanted a child for years, but could not conceive, and still had no children, so what does God do?
“He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be” (Genesis 12:5). “Count” is the word “caphar” in the original Hebrew, which can mean “count,” but also means “to narrate or recount” something.
When you look up at the night sky you’ll see the constellations just as Abram did. God was essentially recounting the Gospel story, written in the stars to Abram, as fathers in Israel would tell their children in those times.
The 12 constellations represent the 12 tribes of Israel and begin with Virgo (a picture of a mother and child), which fulfills the first Bible prophecy in Genesis 3:5.
The constellations end with Leo, which depicts Jesus as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5). The constellation of the Southern Cross, which mariners lost at sea would look at to find their way, also represents the cross.
Therefore when God told Abraham, “So shall your descendants be,” in Genesis 15:5, He was saying that his descendants would have a Christ-like quality. And it came to pass, as Galatians 3:29 says, “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” We who are believers today are all Abraham’s descendants.
God was also prophesying about the number of Abraham’s descendants. So God had to first fill Abram’s heart with pictures of the many children he would have and the belief that he was going to be a father—long before the children came. Did you know that the God who numbers the stars also heals the brokenhearted? Which is where Abram was at this moment.
“He heals the brokenhearted. And binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name”
We then see in Genesis 17:5 and Genesis 17:15 that God changed Abram’s name to Abraham and his wife Sarai’s name to Sarah.
Abram means “exalted father” was changed to Abraham meaning “father of many”.
Sarai meaning “captain” was changed to Sarah meaning “princess, mother of multitudes”. Within a year, their miracle child Isaac came. But did you notice how God did not change Abram’s name before first changing his heart? God had to first change Abraham’s heart before changing his speech. This demonstrates how we have to believe God’s promises before speaking them. Faith is simple. Faith is believing God’s Word in your heart and speaking it out by faith for those things that you can’t yet see and for those things that have yet to be fulfilled.