And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if you be able to number them…
I. ABRAM'S APPREHENSION AND GOD'S ASSURANCE.
1. The Divine words, "Fear not," suggest that Abram was now filled with apprehension.
2. There was strong ground for such apprehension.
3. In this opportune moment of apprehension, God's gracious voice of assurance was heard in vision by Abram.
(1) Encouraging words. "Do not fear!"(2) The ground of the encouragement. "I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward."
(a) As his "shield," an all-sufficient protection.
(b) As his "exceeding great reward," better than all spoils of war or earthly good.
(c) A present help in every time of need is our covenant God.
II. ABRAM'S QUESTIONING AND GOD'S ANSWER.
1. This question was natural.
2. This question was timely.
3. It has been quaintly said: "The pious complaint of human weakness before God must be distinguished from impious murmurs against God."
4. God's answer.
III. ABRAM'S FAITH AND GOD'S ATTESTATION.
1. This act of faith seems to have risen to a sublimer height, and to have been more spiritually appropriating, than any previous act had been.
2. God's special attestation of this act of faith is peculiarly significant (Romans 4:18-25).
3. The solemn ratifying rite.
4. Abram's deep sleep, and accompanying revelation from God.Lessons:
1. The assurance of God's grace should quiet all our fears, and give abiding strength to our faith in His promises.
2. Let us imitate Abram's sublime faith when (Romans 4:20).
3. Unbelief dishonours God; faith glorifies Him.
(D. C. Hughes, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.