March 3, 2023

Hello Advent Family,

Genesis 15 is an incredibly significant moment in the life of Abram and for all of us today.  It would be easy to pass by it quickly as just another of God’s promises and a sacrifice made to seal the promise.  The significance is in the details.  Let’s look at the passage together today. 

But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?” 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.” 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. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away. 12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 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. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.” 17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi[e] of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates— 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”

Abram is beginning to doubt God’s promise and cries out to God about the fact that he still has no child.  God reassures him that His promise to Abram remains.  Abram asks for a sign and God asks for a sacrifice.  Abram gathers what is needed for the sacrifice and then falls into a deep sleep.  God then reassures Abram once again and tells him exactly how he will fulfill the promise over time.  Then comes the beautiful part.  God actually makes the sacrifice to himself as He causes a flaming pot to pass between the pieces and burn up the offering.  This is a picture of the way that God interacts with us.  He fulfills both sides of the covenant.  He does for us what we cannot do for ourselves.  Today and every day thank God for His incredible grace in our lives and how He fulfills both sides of our covenant with Him.

In His Grip,
Pastor Dave