Meditations On The Messiah - Messiah Our Righteousness

by Ray Hawkins

"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.' But Abram said, 'O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?" And Abram said, 'You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.'

"Then the word of the LORD came to him: 'This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.' He took him outside and said, 'Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.' Then he said to him, 'So shall your offspring be.'" (Genesis 15:1-6)

Abram was feeling dejected. His dejection was so profound that even the beautiful and precious statement "I am your shield and very great reward" could not remove it.

For Abram knew from a promise by the Eternal that he and Sarai were to be the channel for the Promised One to come and to conquer. It was not merely that because of their age and present childlessness the promised land didn't look like having any little Abrams running round in it, but because the Word of God given in Genesis 3:14,15 seemed in danger of being unfulfilled.

In the dialogue between Abram and God it is his childless state that haunts him. And God doesn't belittle Abram, nor does He demand that Abram pull himself together; rather He does something to reassure and to rekindle hope. At first glance this seems rather a strange thing to do and something that in our society could give the wrong impression -- GOD POINTS HIS COURAGEOUS PILGRIM TO CONSIDER THE STARS.

We may be under the impression that God was stating that the children who would come through Abram and Sarai would be as numerous as the stars. But whilst this may be true, probably much more was intended. This is verified by the fact that when Abram believed God it was attributed to him as righteousness. The fact alone must make us appreciate the further aspect of this 'star-gazing'.

For righteousness cannot be linked to a national birth-rate. Righteousness is linked with the mission of the Messiah. It is also a part of His personality.

Therefore what other aspect can we determine from the cavalcade of stars that aroused Abram to faith and thus to righteousness?

The Scriptures proclaim that the heavens declare the glory of the Lord. The Psalmist writes that God has named the stars according to His own purposes. There is a story to tell, a person to announce, in the realm of the heavens. Unfortunately today the pagan influence of Babylon has shrouded the stars in the shadows of the occult. Instead of telling a story they are used to draw people away from faith in the Messiah. But originally the stars were pointers to the Promised One.

When Abram looked up he was aware of the names of the stars in question. He knew the order they took. And as he reviewed them he took heart. For God had declared His intention for all to see and nothing would prevent it coming to pass. Abram had to take his eyes off his age and the barrenness of his wife. He must look to the Lord and wait His time.

As he looked up and pondered it is quite possible he became aware of the three specific divisions of the 'stary story'. There were the signs for Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and Saggitarius which declared the person and work of Messiah. As he viewed Capricornius, Aquarius, Pisces and Aries the fruit of the Messiah's work would become evident. Then the final four, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer and Leo speak of the final consummation.

How appropriate it is that the final one points to the Lion of Judah, the one invested with kingdom authority and eternal dignity!

Abram took God at his word. God responded by imputing to Abram righteousness. And that is the same step required today -- not the looking at the stars but the looking to the One they talk about; not the reading of the Zodiac, because the world system has endeavoured to corrupt and camourflage the story of the Messiah; rather the reading of the Scriptures that reveal the Messiah.

When in humble delight we take God at His word and receive the Messiah as our own, that faith is accredited to us as righteousness.

My desire, Lord -- I know You are righteous; I know I am unrighteous. How to bridge the gap is impossible to me. I would be bold enough to believe that all I need is in the Promised One, so let Him be my righteousness.