Covenant and Promise
Ask God to show you more of his faithfulness today and give you a fresh assurance of his love for you.
Read Genesis 15:1-21
 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.”  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?”  And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”  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.”  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.”  Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.  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.”  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.”  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.  Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.  As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.  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.  But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.  You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age.  In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”  When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces.  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-  the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites,  Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,  Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat did God promise Abram and how did he react?
When God reassures Abram of his presence and protection, Abram reacts with questions. And who can blame him? He is old. His wife is old. They do not have any children. Abram cannot see how God is going to keep his word. Do you detect a note of his disappointment with God? It is so reassuring to know that God can handle our questions and doubts. God repeats his promise that Abram’s descendants will be his own flesh and blood, more numerous than the stars. Abram’s trust in God is reawakened and God counts that as key in his relationship with Abram and with every human being since (Eph. 2:8). Are you able to believe God today? In ancient times a treaty was solemnized in a ritual involving the shedding of blood. God condescends to solemnly bind himself to his promise. Usually, both parties walked between the carcasses, but God takes the initiative here. This is a unilateral agreement that God alone will fulfill. God has made another covenant in blood: Jesus, God’s son, says: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt. 26:28).
What promises of God are most special to you? Are there any you question or doubt? If so, share them with God.
Lord, You are a promise-making, promise-keeping God. I praise You for Your great promises and faithfulness.
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