Title: The Abrahamic Covenant
Text: Gen 15.7-21
Introduction: Gen 15.5-6
- Romans 3.19-26
- The Covenant of Works (Basics of the Adamic Covenant)
- The Law as given to Moses – Mosaic Law
The Promise has two parts:
1. Land – Gen 12.1
2. People – Gen 12.2
t.s.: Most Covenants have similar patterns; Wayne Grudem: A covenant is an unchangeable, divinely imposed legal agreement between God and man that stipulates the conditions of their relationship.
- A clear definition of Parties involved (God & Abram)
- A legally binding set of provisions that stipulates the conditions (I’m giving you this land)
- The Promise of Blessings for Obedience (not always); cf. rainbow of Noah
- The Conditions for obtaining those Blessings;
I. The Promise of the Covenant
- I Am – this is who He is! ; cf. Exodus 20.2
- It’s contents; Pure Nard (Indian root) mean less to her than he does to her.
- It’s value; sold for 300 denari ($64 x’s = $19,200.00)
- It’s purpose; Anointed his feet; anointed for burial
- I give you this land; what he does!
Transition: rd v 8; he asked in faith; I think it’s ok to believe God and ask him how he’s going to bring this about; as opposed to asking in disbelief; Luk 1.18-20; Mk 9.23-24
II. The Preparation for the Covenant
exp.: rd v9; Bring me; v 10 and he Brought;
- The Practice
- The Old Practice; Mesopotamia – a donkey
- If I break my word, my what has happened to this animal happen to me.
- Jeremiah 34.17-20
- The Presentation; Rd v 10
- 5 animals are introduced that are the same animals used in the Mosaic Law
- See how they’re arranged
- Ø The Passion and Protection; rd v 11
- Birds of Prey
- Symbolism of the future
- Are we as diligent about protecting our presentations to God, be it sacrifice, obedience, or ???? 2 Sam 24.24
III. The Parts of the Covenant
exp.: rd v 12; a theophany – a vision; The parts are basically: who what when where why and how.
- How: Abram’s Question – how can I know?
- know for certain; yada, yada; yada teda; lit.: know that you know; rd v 13;
- your offspring will be foreigners in a land, no, more than that, they’ll be slaves;
- they’ll be afflicted; Exodus 1.11;
- for a long time! 400 years; repeated later; rd v 14
- But, I’ll bring Judgment on those they serve (Egypt)
- I’ll bring them out with great possessions
- Who: or here would be to whom; rd v 15
- You’ll go to your fathers – that is to say, you’ll die and won’t see any of this!
- In case you don’t understand: you’ll die and you’ll be buried at a ripe old age
- When and why: rd v 16;
- 400 years; or 4 generations; or 430 years (Gal 3.17)
- Rd v 16; Amorites will be punished; were these people major sinners? Yes; Leviticus 18 is dedicated to confronting their immorality, that the nation of Israel wouldn’t be the same way – immoral.
- 400 years – that’s plenty of time to repent; what a great reminder that God is patient!
Transition: So, we see God’s Promise; Abram’s preparation; the Parts or details of the covenant and finally, we see the covenant ratified;
IV. The Picture of the Covenant
exp.: rd v 17; here’s the picture – God moving between the parts;
- A smoking pot and a flaming torch; Ex. 3.1-2; 13.17-22; 19.16-19; cf.: Deut. 4.11;
- Passed between those pieces; Then the glowing furnace moved, gliding down the aisle lined with the animals parts that glistened in the fire’s light. Surely an ecstasy gripped Abram’s soul! He had not been asked to join in the pageant – to pass with God between the pieces. It was God alone. This was an unconditional, unilateral covenant. God (with astounding condescension) was symbolizing that if he were to break his word, he would be sundered like the butchered animals. It was an acted-out curse, a divine self-imprecation guaranteeing that Abram’s descendants would get the land or God would die. And God cannot die.
- Note: this covenant is unconditional and unilateral
Conclusion: so, what? What does this mean for us today?
- Gal 3.29; we are heirs of the promise; we await a city, too;
i. God’s Condescension
ii. Seen also in Christ! Phil 3.5-11; 2 Cor. 5.21; Gal 3.13-14
- Do you find your mind too often is focused on the past? (Why was…)
i. How good it was and how you don’t like the way things are now? Or
ii. Do you have regrets? Investments, poor choices, wasted time?
- What promise do you have from God that you’re holding on to?