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Saturday, July 27, 2019

2019.07.27 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 15:7-21

Questions for Littles: Whom did the Word of Yahweh say that He was in Genesis 15:7? What did He say that He had done? What did He promise that He would do? What does Abram ask in Genesis 15:8? What does the Word tell Abram to bring Him in Genesis 15:9? What does He tell him to do to them in Genesis 15:10? What three things fall upon Abram in Genesis 15:12? What bad news does God give Abram in Genesis 15:13? What good news in Genesis 15:14? What good news in Genesis 15:15? What reason does Genesis 15:16 give for why this is going to take so long? What pass between the animal pieces in Genesis 15:17? What does Genesis 15:18 say was happening? What was God binding Himself to do in Genesis 15:18-21
There is a sense in which Genesis 15:8 seems disrespectful. If the Word of Yahweh has just told you something, then you shouldn’t question whether or not it’s true. But it’s more complex than that.

First, Abram is someone who wants to believe but can’t. I think that many of us believers can identify with him in that. We hear what God says. We agree on an intellectual level that it must be true. But we just can’t bring ourselves to know—know that it’s true.

Second, and more importantly, rather than criticize Abram for his unbelief, the Word of Yahweh stoops down to help him believe. God gives Abram a covenant ceremony. Ordinarily, the two who were entering into the covenant would cut those animals into two and separate them, and then as the blood mixed in between, they would walk back and forth between them while stating the obligations of each side—as if to say, “let the one who fails to meet his obligations end up like one of these animals.”

But Yahweh won’t let Abram participate. Abram wants to do what he can. He shoos away vultures. But God puts Abram into a deep sleep. We’ve seen this once before. God is saying, “you are going to be as uninvolved in making this covenant as father Adam was uninvolved in making the woman.” Then God Himself passes between the animals (smoking oven, Genesis 15:17) with… God Himself (burning torch, verse 17)! It will all depend upon God.

Abram was a man who wanted to believe but was having difficulty. And God wanted him to believe and overcame that difficulty by a display of God Himself being the one to secure it by His own blood covenant.

Today, you and I have something even stronger. When our hearts are having difficulty laying hold of some great promise, we have a Lord who wants us to be able to believe. And we can look back to a day where God not only displayed Himself as making a blood covenant, but a day when God had become a man to die in order to permanently secure that blood covenant. The amazing certainty that we have comes especially from the fact that Jesus, who died to secure all our covenant blessings, has risen again, and sits even now on the throne of heaven.

We ought to believe just from the Word. But when we can’t, we can look to Him to point our hearts to the certainty of the death and resurrection of Jesus. And make us to know-know!
Can you strengthen your own faith? How does God point you to the cross and resurrection?
Suggested Songs: ARP46 “God Is Our Refuge” or TPH435 “Not What My Hands Have Done”

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