This portion is the start of the Abrahamic Covenant, although this will be dealt with more later on. What we often miss though is the drama of this passage and how it must have been like for Abram. So tonight we will consider the passage from this side, rather than the theological side. Most of our days are very common ones. But some days are extraordinary! The day we become engaged for example. An engagement is an extraordinary thing, but it doesn’t make a marriage. A marriage is a transformational thing. This moment was transformational for Abram. Remember, he left his country to follow God – exercising great faith. This passage is about Abram’s faith and how it was maturing:
- The Concern of Abram’s Faith
a. God’s Person. If we knew Him better, there would be revival!
b. God’s Power.
c. God’s Presence and Perception.
Abram did nothing to get where he was. Our God who made all things, took this childless pilgrim and made him a great father. God’s plan, always good, is the best!
Note Abram’s response – we are always ashamed of the past and afraid of the future. I don’t think Abram was doubtful here, but rather curious.
- The Challenge to Abram’s Faith (v11)
a. The challenge of Preparation.
This was how covenants were made back then. It was hard and bloody work. God gave this challenge of preparation. Similarly, what does God want us to do? What do we need to be doing? Are we doing it?
b. The challenge of Protection.
When the Lord is busy doing something, every vulture will descend. The challenge of this world and our lives.
c. The challenge of Patience.
This required patience on Abram’s part. God will come, but on His time and will bring it to pass.
- The Confirmation of Abram’s Promises
Abram was brought into a dark time. When God steps in, often everything is up in the air. The great lives came from pain. Don’t fear the darkness of the Lord.
b. Plan (v13-16)
The Lord reveals His plan to Abram during the darkness. Delaying so the Amorites could still repent.
This covenant is one-sided. God promises a priesthood, posterity and possession to Abram.
How is it with you? Are we with our own programs or with God’s program? Can we not see how urgent it is to pull together? Are you ready to give up your comfort and convenience for Him?