One of the obvious facts of life is that we do not naturally have the same perspective as God. We are finite and limited beings who live vapor like lives that are here for a brief moment and gone the next. One of our greatest needs in life is to strive and, through the Scriptures, gain God’s perspective on life and all things therein. This, I believe, is where faith comes in and Gen.15 is a hallmark chapter on faith, teaching us through the example of Abraham.
Abraham is an old man and knows he is about to die with no children. He feels like his time is running out. God sees the long view of a multitude of descendents coming from his line. He sees the entire course of redemptive history. Abraham needs faith to believe that God sees thusly and to align himself with seeing it as well. Verse 6 says he exercises that faith and God counts that as righteousness for him.
Here is what New Testament scholar D.A. Carson says on this verse:
“Abram’s faith is simple and profound: he believed God’s promises, taking God at his word. And that faith, in God’s eyes, was credited as righteousness. This does not mean that he earned brownie points for deploying such a righteous faith. Rather, the idea is that what God demands of his image-bearers, what He has always demanded is righteousness – but in this sinful race what he accepts, crediting it as righteousness is faith, faith that acknowledges our dependence upon God and takes God at His word.”
Lord give us such faith!