Imagine being Abraham and traveling with your large entourage from Ur to Canaan to Egypt then back to Canaan. The promise of God to Abraham years before was this: “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.” In Genesis 15, Abraham still does not have any land he owns and has no children from which a nation can be born.
Yet, God’s promise remains and is restated: “And he brought him outside and said, ‘Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’”
If years passed after God gave you His promise, what would your response be? The next verse tells us how Abraham reacted: “And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.”
What an example! God promised, even though years passed and no sign of the promise being fulfilled was to be seen. Abraham is old and his wife is beyond her childbearing years. And yet Abraham trusts God’s word! He believes what God has said, as impossible as it appears.
We are to have a similar relationship with God. Righteousness implies having a right relationship with God and those made in His image. Abraham has that standing with God, not because of his own moral goodness, but because he believes! Abraham can try to be good, but will always fail, as will we. We can not earn our way into a relationship with a holy God. But like Abraham, we can believe.