We continue our “Series in “Genesis.”
BEFORE READING GENESIS 15, I RECOMMEND READING JOHN GILL’S INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS
Chapter CONTEXT from MHCC: In this chapter, we have a solemn treaty between God and Abram concerning a covenant that was to be established between them. In the former chapter we had Abram in the field with Kings; here we find him in the mount with God; and, though there he looked great, yet, methinks, here he looks much greater: that honour have the great men of the world, but “this honour have all the saints.” The covenant to be settled between God and Abram was a covenant of promises; accordingly, here is, I. A general assurance of God’s kindness and good-will to Abram (v. 1). II. A particular declaration of the purposes of his love concerning him, in two things:–1. That he would give him a numerous issue (v. 2-6). 2. That he would give him Canaan for an inheritance (v. 7-21). Either an estate without an heir, or an heir without an estate, would have been but a half comfort to Abram. But God ensures both to him; and that which made these two, the promised seed and the promised land, comforts indeed to this great believer was that they were both typical of those two invaluable blessings, Christ and heaven; and so we have reason to think, Abram eyed them.
|Genesis chapter 15 Simplified Outline|
|Ge 15:1-3.||God encourages Abram, who complains for want of an heir.|
|Ge 15:4-5.||God promises him a son, and a multiplying of his seed.|
|Ge 15:6.||Abram is justified by faith.|
|Ge 15:7-21.||Canaan is promised again, and confirmed by a sign, and a vision, prophetic of the condition of his posterity till brought out of Egypt.|
The Bible shifts focus here from an action-packed war thriller to an intimate conversation between a man and his God, v.1, After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying… God does not have to speak to us verbally, although He could if He chose to. He often uses dreams, or others to bring His intended message to us.
The great concern after rescuing his nephew, Lot, is Abram is now 80-85 years old and without a male heir. So he asks God, v.2, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless… or (AMP) what reward will You give me. It is prudent to stop here and examine the language for a moment lest we think Abram is making demands for loyalty from God, he is not. He is asking or pleading with God saying I am doing all that you ask, everything I know to be right will I be left without an heir? He is not challenging God he is asking the same tough question many of us ask in similar situations today. The Bible does not forbid us from asking God WHY? The Bible forbids us from challenging God’s authority on the decisions He makes.
In the Great Promise v.5, God tells Abram not only would he have an heir he would have so many heirs that they would spread across the land like the stars in the sky. It should be noted this is the 1st of 3 parts to the Abrahamic Covenant that we first say in Chapter 12. In v.6, Abram accepts without hesitation the Word of God and it is reconciled to him as Faithfull Righteousness. Abram is found acceptable by God.
In the last part of the Chapter, v.7-21, We find the remaining portions of the Abram(hamic) covenant. This is an UNCONDITIONAL COVENANT1 since it depends only upon the actions of God, v.7, And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.
The promise of land, Gen. 15:18-21; 17:8
The promise of descendants, Gen. 12:2; 15:5; 17:2-5
The promise of the blessing of nations, Gen. 12:3
1 The Unconditional Covenant we find here is not to say that God does not still require His chosen people to live CONDITIONALLY under the Law. Just as in the New Testament there are 5 Heavenly CROWNS laid up for saints. They are unconditional in the fact that they are promised, they are conditional in the manner by which they can be obtained.
I hope you see it, God’s promises do not need conditions because once God decree’s something it must come to pass. God can not lie, He can not go back on His word or intent. God places conditions of Faithfulness/Obedience to his covenants because man’s heart is so likely to take advantage of them.
Praying through Genesis 15:1
Heavenly Father, thank You for the life and witness of Abram and for the trust he demonstrated when he refused to accept any reward from the wicked king of Sodom, but relied on You to be his Shield and Defender. Thank You that I have nothing to fear in this evil world and that You supply all that I need according to Your riches in glory. What a wonderful promise that those who trust in You will never be disappointed and that the reward You promise to all Your children is over and above all that we could ask or think. May I live as a faithful witness to Your goodness and grace and never compromise the gospel of Christ. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.
Praying through Genesis 15:6
Dear Lord, thank You that I am justified by faith in Christ and have been covered in His righteousness. I pray that You would work in my life, a faith like that of Abram. Help me not to stagger at Your promises, but believe Your Word and trust in Your faithfulness. In Jesus’ name, I pray, AMEN.
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