Covenant

Genesis 15

We have just left off where Abram had rescued his nephew and all the other captives. God had strengthen him with the visit from King Melchizedek, for he knew the temptation that was to come from the king of Sodom.

One thing noteworthy here is this. God never tempts us with evil, but He does try us or put us through trials to strengthen our faith.

Over the last decade or so it has become more prevalent in my eyes the sissifying of our nation. It is difficult to find people with dogmatic grit. It is increasingly hard to locate men or women with a drive and determination not to just do something but give their best. Men and women, who push their children to excel, who push each other to continue to grow, to better themselves. This trend has invaded Christianity.

We feel if we get through one trail then we should be able to coast for a spell. Here is a news flash, God doesn’t follow trends. 

God is interested in making us the best, conforming us to the very image of His Son Jesus. He keeps pushing us, driving us to succeed, by trusting Him, relying on Him, knowing Him.

Look at Abram. A great battle had been won, a lot of fanfare, getting to worship with the King of Salem. Then all goes quiet. It is here that the battle begins. Our mind starts going into overdrive. 

We see Lot after being rescued going right back where he came from. One of the most depressing, heartbreaking, devastating things for a pastor is watching those whom God delivered out of slavery going back into it.

Abrams thinking about all these things, Lot and his family, showing the other tribes his military strength, and we come to the 15th chapter.

  • God’s call. (V1)
    • This is really comforting. Note He did not say hey you, didn’t do some spectacular flash, simply called him by name.
      • Many today speak of God having their number I am here to tell you God has your name.
    • The God of all creation, the God who holds your life in His hands, the God who is and was and is to come knows your name!
      • He is personal. He is intimate. He is interested in you.
    • Listen. Teenagers, so often it is all about being accepted by others having a friend, needing company.
      •  God knows all about it. You can trust Him, He hears your heart, He knows your need, and He cares to give you the best.
      • Quit settling for seconds. Quit compromising to be liked. Quit listening to those who want you to lower your standards because they don’t have the grit to raise theirs.
    • God called him by name and God came to him.
      • From the time of the garden where God came and walked in the cool of the day till now. He still searches us out, pursues us, and calls us.
      • He doesn’t have to, He is not in need of companionship, He wants to, He loves you, He desires to invest in you.
    • Today God is calling you. 
      • You who are in need of a Savior, you who needs to be committed to what you gave to Him. You, who are broken and in need of healing, God is calling you. 
  • Abrams cry. (V2-3) Remembering as we look at Abrams life we see a perfect picture of the life of the believer. Listen to what he says in Verses 2-3.
    • Doesn’t really sound like someone who just had a great victory or does it?
      • How many times have we left our quiet time, a Sunday service, an encounter with our Holy God only to have something from our past or someone close rain on our parade?
    • Abram is just like us, he quickly forgets it is only by God’s grace and mercy we rise up or are sat down.
      • He is not blaming Sari, he’s not blaming God. He is placing the blame on himself. (v2) I go childless.
      • Now in our sinful hard heart, we see this as a good sign of humility.
      •  In truth, just like when we do it is a sure sign of pride. 
    • Most of us think, in spite of all the scripture that points otherwise, believe we earn God’s grace.
      • Proof; The reason good things happen is because of our faithfulness and bad things are because of our wickedness.
      • Don’t want to belabor this so here is one scripture that sums it up : (Lu 17:10) So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
    • If, if, if we have done all we were commanded to do we still haven’t done enough to earn God’s favor.
      •  Pride tells us we aren’t that bad, we have done enough, we deserve more…
      • We don’t serve God, do good works to earn anything we should do it out of gratefulness, hence why we pick and choose what we like and don’t like; was not very grateful.
    • Abram was depressed, distressed, discouraged. 
      • God answered him; this is not going to be your heir, count the stars if you can, so shall your kindred be.
      • Abram asked for a sign, something to hold on to during times of discouragement.
      • God gave him some directives to which he obeyed, “obedience is better than sacrifice”. He set up the sacrifice and waited.
  • God’s covenant.
    • God revealed to Abram what He intended. He let him in on the past, present, future.
      • After telling Abram what He designed, He gave him a picture, a visual to recall.
    • Smoking furnace: cannot help but think of the Nazis during WWII.
      • The suffering and the humiliation the Jewish people endured. And now those who don’t want to acknowledge God neither want to acknowledge this great tragedy.
      • This smoking furnace was a symbol of the affliction the Jews would suffer because of their unbelief, their rebelliousness, their ungratefulness, at the hands of the Egyptians.  
    • The burning lamp was also symbolic:  
      • The burning lamp denotes comfort in this affliction; and this God showed to Abram, at the same time that he showed him the smoking furnace. 
      • Also Light denotes deliverance out of the furnace; their salvation was as a lamp that burneth, (Isa 62:1.) When God came down to deliver them, he appeared in a bush that burned and was not consumed.
    • (18) is a key part of this transaction.
      • The wording is very important. In (v7) God is reminding Abram what he had already promised him earlier. (Ge 15:7) ¶ 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. 
      • (v 18) the wording is changed. “Unto thy seed has I given this land.”
      • It is a done deal.
  • God’s covenant with us. Remember where I told you that today God is calling you. You who are in need of a Savior, you who needs to be committed to what you gave to Him, you who are broken and in need of healing, God is calling you.  Not going all theological though it is a great study. Listen.
    • (Joh 14:23) Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
      • How does He do this?
    • (Joh 14:26-25) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (27) Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
      • God loves you. Really! His is not a false promise, empty words. It is a covenant sign with the blood of Jesus
    • Eternal life does not start after we pass from this life to the next.
      • Our Lord’s half-brother John said. (1Jo 3:14) ¶ We know that we have passed from death unto life…
      • Have passed. Without Jesus, you’re not living your just surviving.
      • He even gives a sure sign that you are living eternal life. … because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
    • God made it simple. John 3:16

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