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QQC—Belief and Righteousness

Quirks, Queries and Commentary—Genesis 15

“Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6 NIV) Paul quotes this passage in Romans 4 and it’s referred to in Hebrews 12 so it’s obviously a very important truth but Abram’s belief wasn’t as steadfast as it sounds. When the promised son didn’t come, he accepted Sarai’s solution of taking her servant Hagar by whom he could have this child, contrary to the promise. Despite what we would consider a grave error and sin (Abram and Hagar would have been disfellowshipped from many churches had it happened now or in the last couple hundred years or more), God called him righteous.

In fact, Abram is said to have believed God even though he asked a question very similar to that of the father of John the Baptist, Zechariah, who was made mute for disbelieving the angel. Abram asked, “How can I know...?” (Genesis 15:8 NIV) Zechariah asked, “How can I be sure of this?” (Luke 1:18 NIV) Whereas Abram was said to believe, the angel accused Zechariah of not believing. (Luke 1:20) What was the difference?


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