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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Genesis

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FRAMEWORKS: Genesis 15: The Lord's Covenant with Abram


v.1-3 Abram's first question

v.4-6 Abram's Righteousness

v.7,8 Abram's Second Question

v.9-12 A Serious Covenant (1)

v.13-16 The Lord reveals the Future of the Family

v.17-21 A Serious Covenant (2)



v.1-3 Abram's first question


v.1 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram.  I am your shield, your very great reward.”

v.2 But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?”

v.3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”


[Notes: This passage is started by God coming in a vision to reassure Abram but Abram questions such reassurance because he still hasn't had any children and the years are passing.]



v.4-6 Abram's Righteousness


v.4 Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.”

v.5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

v.6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.


[Notes: Abram is reassured by the Lord who reiterates that he will have many children. At this point Abraham believes God and that belief is decreed as righteousness, which the apostle Paul picks up on Romans 4, as the basis for our salvation.]



v.7,8 Abram's Second Question


v.7 He also said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.”

v.8 But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?”


[Notes: The Lord reminds Abram that he's not there in this land by accident but by His calling. Abram still questions and needs more assurance. Perhaps because no one has trodden this path before the Lord simply perseveres with him.]



v.9-12 A Serious Covenant (1)


v.9 So the Lord said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.”

v.10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half.

v.11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.

v.12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.


[Notes: In those days when covenants were entered into [usually between kings] then sacrifices would be cut in half and a pathway between them created and the parties would pass between these signs of death having been given to solemnize the agreement. This the Lord now instructs and Abram does, and opens the way for the covenant.]



v.13-16 The Lord reveals the Future of the Family


v.13 Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there.

v.14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.

v.15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age.

v.16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”


[Notes: The Lord brings a prophecy for the future of Abram's people:

•  they will leave this land for over four hundred years

•  they will be made slaves in that other place

•  God will punish that other people and deliver Abram's people

•  He

•  this will not include Abram for he will die in peace in this land.

All of this will be fulfilled as is seen in the end of Genesis and the whole of Exodus.]



v.17-21 A Serious Covenant (2)


v.17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces.

v.18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates—

v.19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,

v.21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”


[Notes: A supernatural torch appeared and the Lord reiterates His promise that Abram's people will inherit this extensive land to confirm the covenant.]



Lessons or Challenges to Ponder from Genesis Chapter 15


1. God enters into covenant with Abram and in so doing reveals the big plan for his family that stretches far into the future. Can we realise that our present role in our family may have spin-offs that stretch way into the future? Can we value our present role and hold it carefully before the Lord so that He may bless it and possibly impact future generations?

2. Can we understand that God has big plans that stretch way into the future and on into eternity and that how we live today is a part of that plan?



Continue to Chapter 16