Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Abrahamic Covenant: There is no place for guilt or anxiety about the past.
Friday, March 7, 2008
The ceremony recorded in Genesis 15 indicates the unconditional nature of the covenant.
Emphasizing or recognizing only one side of a promise or covenant.
Reward - “sakar” = “your benefit or your reward”
In verses 5-7, we see these three pictures, all of which serve to illustrate the point that the One who made the covenant or the promises has the ability to keep them.
The promises do not depend upon who or what we are but on who and what God is.
(1) The stars.
The first object lesson is in verse 5, and illustrates the fact that God has the ability to solve Abraham’s problems.
God has established a traffic pattern in the universe, and He has the power to keep all of these great stars of space in their orbit; consequently, while moving at great speed, millions and billions of stars follow a perfect pattern.
This requires knowledge and God has omniscience.
It also requires power and God has the omnipotence to accomplish it.
Immutability is required; God cannot change.
COL 1:16-17 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created by Him and for Him.
COL 1:17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
HEB 1:3....He upholds all things by the word of His power.
No matter how you look at it, if God has the power to hold the universe together, God has the power to handle any problem you ever had......or ever will have.
God holds the universe together, COL 1:17, and if He has the power to handle the problem of traffic in the universe, don’t you think He also has the power to handle your problems?
The fulfillment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and His way, and then simply embracing Him and what He does.
He is not our racial father--that’s reading the story backwards. He is our faith father.
GAL 3:6-7 Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.
We call Abraham “father” not because he got God’s attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody.
Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing.
When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do.
(2) The promise of salvation, GEN 15:6.
‘Aman - points back to a decision Abraham had already made; he believed in the Lord.
The perfect tense of ‘aman = past completed action, an action completed many, many years ago.
(3) Faithfulness, GEN 15:7.
“Have I been faithful to you in the past Abram?”
That is why prior to the different stages of spiritual growth, we must all pass through different forms of suffering for blessing that the Lord brings in our life.
As a part of God’s faithfulness, He always provides the doctrine or the opportunity to get the doctrine necessary to pass each test before it comes.
HEB 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;
This results in the things around you which were formerly distracting to your spiritual growth becoming less and less important.
All of these illustrations point to one Person, and that Person is not only God, but also God the Son. Understanding these illustrations and hearing the promises and the unconditional or unilateral covenants, there is no excuse for Abram, or any other believer, to worry about anything.
The second cure for Abram’s doubts and fears is the doctrine of the word of God, suggested in verses 8-11.
Abram saw the land occupied by the Amorites, as well as many giants.
Not only that, Chedorlaomer and his forces had been moving back and forth throughout the land, threatening to envelop it.
MAT 17:20 “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain [a reference to any huge obstacle in your life], ‘Move from here to there,’ and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you.”
MAT 19:26 “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”