Let’s read Genesis 15:1-6, “After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.’ But Abram said, ‘Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?’ Then Abram said, ‘Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!’ And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, ‘This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.’ Then He brought him outside and said, ‘Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness” (NKJV).

In verse 1 we read that “the word of the LORD came to Abram in a VISION.” We are not told that Abram was “dreaming” so I don’t believe this happened in a dream. We also told, in verse 5, that the Lord “brought him outside” and then Abram was told to “Look now toward the heaven, and count the stars.” I take these words LITERALLY, which means that Abram was in his tent when the vision began and at some point God brought him outside of his tent and it was a “starry night.” It was not daytime; it was nighttime; and God used the stars in the heaven to reveal to Abram His purposes for him. Again, Abram was NOT DREAMING; he actually heard a MESSAGE from the Lord. The “word of the LORD” was a special “revelation” and it came to Abram in a “vision.” He SAW a vision of God and God spoke to him in the vision! Numbers 24:4 bears this out: “The utterance of him WHO HEARS THE WORDS OF GOD, WHO SEES THE VISION OF THE ALMIGHTY, who falls down, with eyes wide open.”

Before we close this meditation, we must ask, “What was God’s purpose for Abram revealed in this vision?”  That Abram would one day bear a son (Isaac…see Genesis 21:1-3) and through him his descendants would multiply in number like the “stars in the sky.” We read in verse 6 that Abram “believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” Why was Abram counted as righteous by believing this promise? Ah, because Abram’s faith looked beyond Isaac and his many descendants and he saw Christ, the Savior of the world who would bring salvation to lost sinners by bearing the curse that sin demanded. In other words, Abram’s faith realized that the son that was promised to him (Isaac) would eventually result in Christ being born, and that He would be the “true Seed” that would come through Abraham. I will end by quoting the passage that confirms this.

“O foolish Galatians!….Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by THE HEARING OF FAITH?…….He who supplies the Spirit to you….does He do it by law, or by THE HEARING OF FAITH?—just as Abraham ‘believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ Therefore know that only those who are OF FAITH are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, PREACHED THE GOSPEL TO ABRAHAM BEFOREHAND, saying, ‘In you shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.’ So then those who are OF FAITH are blessed with BELIEVING ABRAHAM. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.’ But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for ‘the just shall live by faith.’ Yet the law is not of faith, but ‘the man who does them shall live by them.’ CHRIST HAS REDEEMED US FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW, HAVING BECOME A CURSE FOR US (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that THE BLESSING OF ABRAHAM MIGHT COME UPON THE GENTILES IN CHRIST JESUS, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit THROUGH FAITH…Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,’ who is Christ” (Galatians 3:1-2, 5-14, 16).  (447.5)  (DO)