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11. The Abramic Covenant

June 23, 2009

Text:   Genesis 15:1-21

Key Verse:   Genesis 15:6

Outline:               I. The Covenant Remembered      Gen. 15:1-8

                               II. The Covenant Sealed      Gen. 15:9-21

Context/Discussion/Comments:

     After returning home from rescuing Lot, Abram is visited by the Lord God in a vision. It is difficult to know how much of Abram’s experience was with the vision and how much was when he was awake. The whole of Chapter 15 could be a vision or perhaps Abram was awake at verse 6, asleep again at verse 13 and awake again at verse 17. He is told not to fear because God is protecting him and will reward him. Abram tells God the best reward he could receive would be a child otherwise his personal servant will inherit his estate. God reassures Abram that he will have a child, a heir. He takes Abram out and shows him all the stars and tells him that his descendents will be great in number just like the stars God created. Abram believes God. And God declares him to be righteous.

     God continues to explain to Abram that it was He who brought him from Ur to claim this land. God has a plan and He is working that plan. But Abram doesn’t understand how this all can happen.

     God asks Abram to get a heifer, a goat, a ram, and two birds, all three years old. He is to cut the animals in half and lay them in two parallel lines. With this done, Abram falls asleep and a deep darkness covered him. Most likely Abram was still trying to resolve just how God was going to accomplish the building of a nation using just Abram and Sarai.

     God prophesies to Abram that his descendents will be enslaved for 400 years in another land but that country will be punished for their treatment of Abram’s kin [a reference to the ten plagues]. As a result, Abram’s kin will leave that land of enslavement with great wealth. Abram is told he is not a part of this because he will have died of old age. In other words, Abram will not see any of this happen. When darkness comes, a smoking pot carrying a torch passes between the two rows of animals sealing God’s Promise that Abram’s descendents will inhabit the land from the Nile River to the Euphrates River.

Lessons/Applications:

     1. God is present and protects those who are faithful and honor Him with their worship.

     2. God may not be fast to act but He is sure to act according to what He has promised. God is faithful even when we question His faithfulness.

     3. God willingly assures us of His plans when we start to lose faith.

     4. Acknowledging God’s faithfulness to carry out His Will assures us we are righteous in His sight.

     5. Listen to God. Hear what He says and future details will be revealed to you. Such is usually disclosed to us by His Spirit when reading His Word and bowing before Him in prayer and worship.

     6. Just as God sealed His Covenant with Abram when he expresses his belief in God’s Promise, God seals us with His Holy Spirit when we express our belief in His Person, Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of our sin. [see Eph. 1:13-14].

Remember, God Keeps His Promises!

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