COVENANT WITH GOD
The Lord told him, “Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” So Abram presented all these to him and killed them. Then he cut each animal down the middle and laid the halves side by side; he did not, however, cut the birds in half. Some vultures swooped down to eat the carcasses, but Abram chased them away. As the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a terrifying darkness came down over him.
Genesis 15:9-12 NLT
After the sun went down and darkness fell, Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses. So the Lord made a covenant with Abram that day and said, “I have given this land to your descendants, all the way from the border of Egypt to the great Euphrates River—
Genesis 15:17-18 NLT
For those of us who struggle to understand Old Testament culture this is a strange passage. God is telling Abram that He plans to make a great nation out of him and wants to have a covenant relationship with Abram. Then God instructs Abram to bring certain animals to Him. Abram recognizes what is going on because this is part of a covenant ceremony. In such a ceremony the parties entering covenant would cut the animals in two and walk a figure eight around the cut pieces. They would stand in the middle of the cut animals and pledge themselves to each other. But after Abram cuts the animals birds of prey come and he must fend them off. God tells Abram his descendants would spend 400 years in slavery before the covenant is completed. It appears the birds of prey are signs of this time of captivity and suffering. After Abram fights off the birds it starts to get dark, and Abram falls asleep. In his sleep Abram sees a “smoking firepot and a flaming torch” walk between the halves of the carcasses. This is when the two parties entering covenant should be walking through the pieces but Abram, a mere man, goes to sleep. God chooses to enter the covenant on behalf of Abram. I believe it was Jesus that Abram saw walking through the carcasses. Jesus said, “Abraham rejoiced to see My day and was glad” (John 8:56). The religious leaders of Jesus’ day couldn’t understand how Jesus could claim that Abraham saw Him. I believe this was the day Abram saw Jesus. Jesus took Abram’s place and entered the covenant with Father God on behalf of Abram and all humanity. What a picture of our relationship with Father God. Because of our sinful nature we are unworthy to enter a relationship with Father God. But our Heavenly Father loved us so much and wanted a relationship with us so much that He sent Jesus to earth to complete God’s covenant with humanity. Jesus became the sacrifice for our sins. We have a relationship with God not based on our goodness but on His work on the cross through Jesus.
Holy Spirit help me to live in the full awareness that I am in a covenant relationship with the Creator of the Universe. I have a divine Heavenly Father Who want to bless me and work through me to bless the world.
“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”