Be Honest With God (Genesis 15)

by Jan 13, 2023

But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” (Genesis 15:2-3)

What does it look like when we are in prayer? I’m not saying we should be concerned about how we look in prayer, but rather our heart posture toward God. It can be exultant, sorrowful, or even indifferent and dry if we’re honest. We may even be distant and unwilling to address God with our whole selves, no matter how ugly, prideful, or angry we can be. However, in today’s verses, we learn from Abram (Abraham) that we can be entirely honest with God, because he loves us beyond our imagination.

At this point in Abraham’s story, a lot has happened. He left all he knew, moved to Canaan, worshiping the Lord along the way, and sojourned in Egypt, avoiding a devastating famine. He separated from and eventually had to rescue Lot after defeating four kings. He rejects immense blessings from Melchizedek. All of this happened under the promise that God was going to make him into a great nation.

You can imagine the confusion and frustration that Abraham may be feeling at this point. It makes sense that Abraham turns to the Lord God, in complete honesty, asking literally, “What will you give me?” Abraham doesn’t even let God respond, saying that a slave will be his heir.

Don’t misunderstand what is happening in this conversation. Abraham is probably not expecting a reward for all the work he has done in obedience to the Lord. Rather, he is probably confused about how he will become a great nation without his own child! Abraham’s prayer for an heir is entirely in tune with God’s will. From the very beginning, God made it clear that from Abraham would come a great nation.

In his honest outpouring to God, Abraham is not seeing red and is not rash, but he is sharing exactly how he is feeling and what he is thinking. Abraham wants to make sense of what God is doing in his life at this very moment, especially in such a confusing time. And don’t we all feel this way in the most challenging seasons? Don’t we ask God, “Why do things have to work out this way? What are you trying to do with me?”

What is truly incredible is that God does not rebuke Abraham for his honesty, which seems to question God’s sovereignty. We see Abraham pausing to listen. He receives God’s love and mercy, reassures him of the promise and makes a covenant with Abraham. Ultimately, “Abraham believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness” (Gen. 15:6).

We can do the same in prayer. When we pray, we have the freedom to pour out our entire selves to him. We can ask God the hard questions. We can ask for clarity. We can tell him exactly how we are feeling. The Lord knows us so well and desires for us to rely entirely on Him. Let’s take our Good Father up on his lovingkindness toward us and press in more and more.