Monday, September 18, 2017

eschatology, Covenant Established (Gen.15)

Abraham was not going to forget God's promise/covenant (of land, seed and blessings), but he still thought he needed to take matters into his own hand, and was ready to deem a distant relative as his heir.  After God promised Abram that he would have his own son, Abram truly believed in God (he became a "believer", see James 2:23).  To show Abram that He was serious, God established the covenant in a way that mankind could understand.  In those days, they would sever animals and create a pathway through the halves.  Then both parties would walk through the carcasses - meaning - that if anyone would break the covenant, they would suffer a similar fate as the dead animals. But God knew Abram would not be able to keep the covenant, so God put Abram in a deep sleep, and God went through the animals by Himself...

(Genesis 15:1-21)  After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying,
Do not fear, Abram,
I am a shield to you;
Your reward shall be very great.”
Abram said, “O Lord God, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. And He said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it.” He said, “O Lord Godhow may I know that I will possess it?” So He said to him, “Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds. 11 The birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.
12 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him. 13 God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. 14 But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions. 15 As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age. 16 Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.”
17 It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying,
To your descendants I have given this land,
From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:
19 the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite 20 and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim 21 and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite.”

Today's takeaway:  This is how amazing God is!  He knows that we will keep messing up.  And so God provides and keeps His promises.  This covenant parallels how:  When we become a Christian - God seals us with the Holy Spirit.  When we ask for forgiveness of sins - God forgives our sins and chooses to remember them no more.  When we believe - God gives us eternal life and nothing can undo that!

(John 10:27-30)  "...My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

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