I preached on Genesis 15 this morning. I decided in September to try and preach my way through the Bible start to finish, Genesis through Revelation, with seasonal pauses for Advent, Christmas, and Easter. Today is our last bit of Genesis before we break for some “here comes Jesus (again)” for Advent. We made it up to God’s promise to Abram–he hasn’t even received his new name yet (this sermon series will take years if I stick with it).
Abram is complaining about not having his promised heir, and God reminds him of God’s promise: descendants as numerous as grains of sand, or as the stars in the night sky.
But, God says, they will be aliens in the land for 400 years. Abram will go peacefully to his ancestors, but his descendants will have it rough for a while.
I still have trouble imagining keeping a promise going for 400 years, especially 400 years of turmoil and exile. Our country has barely been in existence half that long, and we forget our history.
And yet–and this I didn’t think of in time to preach this morning–isn’t that what I do? Try and remind people of God’s promises, not just hundreds, but thousands of years later?
Hm. Maybe 400 years isn’t so long after all.
Hmmm – I guess 400 years is a very short time to God. Especially if God exists beyond time. The promise would actually be NOW. Then it gets even more confusing to understand a promise of turmoil and alienation. I’d love to know your whole sermon on this promise. It’s easier for me to know what to do with God’s promised of love and grace… a little harder to understand why God would promise alienation, turmoil, pestilence etc.
I love your little blurb – “radical love and ridiculous grace” Amen to that!