God Makes a Covenant with Abram
In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying,
Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the
great river, the river Euphrates.
Read Genesis 15:7-18
Yesterday we saw that the Lord promised Abram he would become a great
nation. This promise included greater things: the devout seed would inherit
the bountiful land of promise. In this connection, Abram asked the Lord how
he could be sure that his seed would inherit it? To assure Abram that this
would happen, the Lord established a covenant with Abram and his seed.
In response, Abram is commanded to sacrifice three animals according to
Middle-Eastern custom. He cuts the animals in half and lays the carcasses
adjacent to one another, leaving a pathway between them. Two birds were
also sacrificed. By this Abram understands that the Lord is ratifying a covenant
with him. However, it takes some time before the Lord appears. Evening
descends, and Abram falls asleep. Then the Lord comes in the form of
a smoking furnace, passing between the sacrificed animals. In this way the
Lord unilaterally confirms His covenant. In this Middle-Eastern, symbolic
manner, the Lord is telling Abram that if He does not keep His covenant then
He cannot be regarded as the one true God any longer. The Lord cannot annul
this covenant; He swears by it.
While God was in the presence of Abram, He reminded Abram, “The word
of grace which He (Jehovah) commands, to thousand generations stands”
(Psalter 425:5). From in-between these sacrifices, the Lord guarantees that
His promises are yea and amen. Through baptism, the New Testament is a
sign of the blood the Lord Jesus shed on the cross. God’s covenant and His
promises are not only extended by the Lord, but also guaranteed by Him. At
your baptism the congregation sang of the riches of these blessings in Psalter
425, “The covenant made in days of old, with Abraham He doth uphold.”
Meditate on these matters.
Thought: The Lord is dependable because He has sworn by His own Name
and therefore cannot and will not lie.
Psalter 415:6 (based on Psalm 25)
Who is he that fears Jehovah, Walking with Him day by day?
God will lead him safely onward, Guide him in the chosen way.
Then at ease his soul shall rest, in Jehovah still confiding;
E’en his children shall be blest, Safely in the land abiding.