I'm in Genesis right now, which is really funny to me because Peter is preaching from Genesis for the next few weeks at church. I like it when God does stuff like that. Anyway, I was reading about Abraham last night, or Abram as he was known until God changed his name.
So first, check out chapter 12, where God promises Abram that he's going to be a great nation:
1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.
2 "I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing."
Abram's like, "Rock on, that's really cool, God." God spoke, and Abram left. No questions (that we see), no commentary... Just obedience.
Fast forward a little and we see where Abram REALLY screws up. But we're not going there right now, just remember that Abram is far from perfect, because... look at Chapter 15:
2 But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit c]">[c] my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?" 3 And Abram said, "You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir."
4 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." 5 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."
6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
OK, so Abram, Mr. Not-So-Perfect, just got called righteous.
If you look two chapters further, you'll see where God tells him that he and his wife (aged 100 and 90) were going to bear a son, and he responds by falling down because he was laughing so hard! This is the righteous one? In fact, he was even included in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11!
11By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
He didn't even get to see it happen. Hebrews 11:13 says that "they did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance."
I love it. I love that Abraham was allowed to screw up. I love that he was allowed to laugh when God told him His plans. In his faith, Abraham was able to live it out... to learn, to be disciplined, and to totally and faithfully believe what God promised. It gives me hope. You and I are not too far screwed up to become right with God. God can still call YOU righteous, as He did Abraham. I don't know about you, but I want to be righteous... I want to be faithful. Do you?