I would love to know how Abraham heard the Word of the Lord. Did he hear a soft whisper? Was it just a quiet knowing in his heart and mind? Or did he look up and discover that he wasn’t alone after all? That there was Another seated with him in his tent … seated near enough that Abraham could hear the silent sighs of His heart, see the expression of compassionate tenderness on His face, the look of full knowledge in His penetrating eyes. And then did He speak in a voice like that of rushing waters reverberating throughout all time? Flooding Abraham with the warmth of God’s love, penetrating deep into the lonely recesses of his heart and mind? How does He speak to you and me today?
Read Genesis 15:1
I. GOD SPEAKS RELEVANTLY—after this …
- Read Genesis 14. Describe what Abraham had just done and where he had been when Genesis 15 opens.
- How do you think Abraham felt?
- What time is it in your life? What have you just done? Where have you just been? How do you feel?
- What encouragement do you receive from the following verses? Psalm 23:4-6; Psalm 27:1; Isaiah 43:1-2; Daniel 10:19; Romans 8:31-39.
II. GOD SPEAKS PERSONALLY—the Word of the Lord came to Abram …
- Give specific words or phrases from Genesis 15:1-6 that indicate that the Word of the Lord was not just a language.
- Who was the Word? See John 1:1-2, 14.
- What do you think this meant to Abraham?
- Describe similar situations when “God showed up.” See Daniel 3:1-30; Ezekiel 1:1-5, 22-28.
- When has God taken the initiative and “shown up” in your life?
- Read Genesis 12-22. List the phrases that indicate God spoke to Abraham personally, calling him by name.
- Give the verses and write what God seemed to say when He has spoken to you personally through His Word.
III. GOD SPEAKS CLEARLY—in a vision …
- Did Abraham have any written communication from God in Genesis 15:1? How did He speak clearly to Abraham?
- What vision did Peter have in Mark 9:1-7? Years later, what did Peter say was “more certain” than the vision? See 2 Peter 1:16-21.
- What is the danger of relying on visions or dreams, according to Ezekiel 13:6-8? Contrast this with Revelation 19:9; 21:5; and 22:6.
- Give phrases that underscore the importance of God’s written Word from Jeremiah 1:12; Matthew 24:35; Revelation 1:1-3.
IV. GOD SPEAKS KNOWINGLY
A. He Understands Your Fearfulness—“Do not be afraid …”
- What do you think Abraham feared? What are you afraid of?
- When you are afraid, what difference does your Bible reading make? See Psalm 119:165.
B. He Understands Your Weakness—“I am your shield …”
- How was God’s Word to Abram and to Moses similar? See Exodus 3:1-15.
- Why do you think God identified Himself in this way?
- Give phrases from these verses that describe God as the same from age to age: Joshua 1:5, 9; Psalm 139:7-12; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:5, 8.
- Where was Abraham living? See Genesis 14:13.
- Estimate how many dependents he may have been responsible for. See Genesis 14:14.
- Do you think he felt vulnerable to retaliation from the enemy?
- In what way do you feel exposed to attack or hardship?
- How does God describe Himself in 2 Samuel 22:2-3; Psalm 18:2; Psalm 32:7; Psalm 46:10-11; Psalm 119:114; Psalm 140:7?
- How well does Jesus understand your weakness? See Matthew 26:56 and Hebrews 4:15
C. He Understands Your Emptiness—“… your very great reward.”
- What had God promised in Genesis 12:1-3? In Genesis 13:14-17?
- Had these promises been fulfilled by Genesis 15? Use phrases from 15:2-3.
- Do you think Abraham felt he had nothing to show for forsaking everything to embrace a God-filled life?
- Are you wondering if total commitment to God is worth it? In the end, what did Abraham have to show for his life’s journey of faith? See Genesis 22:15-18; Isaiah 41:8.
- How does the Apostle Paul describe his desire for this reward? Give phrases from Philippians 3:7-11.
- Put your name in Ephesians 1:17-19 and pray it for yourself.
Abraham must have been incredibly comforted by the Word of the Lord. He was learning he could trust God because God knew and understood his innermost thoughts and fears. In the same gentle, tender way, God will also speak to you. Learn to listen for His voice as you read your Bible.
Adapted from an article published in Decision in June 2011.
Anne Graham Lotz has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 40 years. Her latest book, The Daniel Key, is available from major booksellers.