Faithful

In Genesis 15, we find that Abe has entered into a covenant with God. We turn to Jeremiah who shares what is at stake with entering into a covenant with God. Jeremiah 34:18-19b~Those who have violated my covenant and have not fulfilled the terms of the covenant they made before me, I will treat like the calf they cut in two and then walked between its pieces. The leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the court officials, Jeremiah 34:19c- 20~the priests and all the people of the land who walked between the pieces of the calf, I will deliver into the hands of their enemies who want to kill them. Their dead bodies will become food for the birds and the wild animals. (NIV). 
When the sun begins to set, Abe falls asleep, and God shares a prophetic dream that there will be a 400-year Egyptian bondage of Abe’s descendants. Life is difficult, and things are not always going to be easy, but there is a purpose in everything God does. He also tells Abe he will punish that nation, and his descendants will come out with great substance (15:13-14). Genesis 15:15~As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. (ESV) This is a promise God makes a few times in the Bible, like Josiah who is told this very same promise 2 Kings 22:20. I was going through a really rough time in life and all I knew to do was pour myself out before the Lord when He gave me this same promise. Saints we must seek the Lord, trusting that He always has our best interests at heart. Jeremiah says there is a plan in place.

That means we are going to have to trust God. Centuries later, when Ole Mo leads the Israelites out of Egypt he tells them to ask the Egyptians for articles of gold, silver, and clothing. Exodus 12:36~And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians so that they let them have what they asked. Thus, they plundered the Egyptians. (ESV) God knows when you and I will die and the details of our deaths. Job 14:5~You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer. (NLT)

God is totally honest with Abe, telling him his descendants can’t possess the land for a long time. When the sun sets, darkness falls, God will show up and complete the agreement. Genesis 15:17~When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. (ESV) God appears in His Shekinah glory, radiating, smoking, dazzling with fire as passes between. This is called a theophany, a visual manifestation of God. I know this is how we wish God would show up in our lives some times as he does with Ole Mo at the burning bush. Just speak to us, Lord.

Our Takeaway: God is still faithful. Saints, He is just as faithful today as He was then. We, like Abe, will all face times when we have to wait and, at times suffer, but know that God has a good purpose for it all. We need to understand Malachi 3:6~I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. (NIV) Even when we get discouraged going through the Ups and Downs of life. In those moments cling to God’s Presence, Promise, and Purpose.



Worthy of the Calling

Life will have a lot of Ups and Downs: and like our spiritual Father Abraham, we need to remember three things: God’s Presence, Promise and Purpose, Genesis 15:7-21. Next, God reminds Abe of His purpose in Genesis 15:7~And he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” Genesis 15:8~But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” (ESV) Sounds reasonable to me, and the Lord responds by using a common ancient ceremony Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a heifer, a she-goat, ram, turtledove, and a young pigeon show up at the house.

Abe responds by sacrificing. Genesis 15:10~And he brought him all these, cut them in half and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. (ESV) How many times have you made a sacrifice to God and it seemed like life would just swoop in to disrupt the change you were attempting to put into your life. Listen to how ole Abe responds in Genesis 15:11~And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away. (ESV) God sows seed into our lives and when He does the birds will swoop in and feast on what was meant for us. Listen to Jesus Christ share this in a parable. 

Matthew 13:18-19~Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. (ESV) Matthew 13:23~As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty. (ESV) Saints, God desires to sow good seed into our lives. To do so means we, like Father Abe, are going to enter into contractual agreement or covenant with God. We’re going to have to change somethings and to do something. In day two of Abe’s agreement, certain sacrifices were made. Then the agreeing parties would walk together in the space between the animal parts to confirm the contract. This is serious, holy, business. Aren’t you glad you’re not under the Old Testament rule of Law? Why not take some time today to thank the Lord for the gift of His only son, Jesus.



Accounted as righteousness

God offers us the best words, even grand visual aides concerning our life because He has our best interest at heart. Romans 8:28~And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (ESV) So what is God’s purpose for our lives? It’s a question that we all will struggle with many times over the course of our lives. American statesman Bernard Baruch when asked who was the greatest personality of our age? Responded with great wisdom at 94 saying: The fellow who does his job every day. The mother who has children and gets up to get them breakfast keeps them clean, and sends them off to school. The fellow who keeps the streets clean, and The unknown soldiers – millions of them.

Listen to what God does for Abe Genesis 15:5~And he brought him outside and said, Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to…So shall your offspring be. (ESV) And Abe believed! Genesis 15:6~And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness. (ESV) This verse is very significant for us because it answers an ancient question found in Job 25:4~How then can a mortal be righteous before God? How can one born of woman be pure? (NIV) 

Paul uses the entire fourth chapter of Romans to explain the implications of Genesis 15:6. There Paul explains it wasn’t written for Abe alone but imputed. Romans 4:23~The words “it was credited to him” (λογίζομαι logizomai) were written not for him alone, (NIV). This is a bookkeeping term, God is keeping a record. Then Paul writes, Romans 4:24~but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness–for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. (NIV) We need to know about faith being counted. That our faith defined by Hebrews 11:1~Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (NIV) Abe, do you see your son? No, and you still believe and trust God? Resoundingly, Yes! Has God ever given you peace that you pushed away because you wanted a better answer? Or, perhaps His answer was not what you really wanted and so you struggled to believe Not Abe, for him it was righteousness because this same divine principle applies to everyone who trusts in Jesus as Lord and Savior. (λογίζομαι logizomai) Has God deposited righteousness into your life through Jesus Christ? Righteousness is not earned, it is given.