Genesis 15:7-21 – Something fowl is going on

Gen 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.

Gen 15:8 And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?

Gen 15:9 And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.

Gen 15:10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.

Gen 15:11 And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.

Gen 15:12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.

Gen 15:13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

Gen 15:14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

Gen 15:15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.

Gen 15:16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

Gen 15:17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.

Gen 15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

Gen 15:19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,

Gen 15:20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,

Gen 15:21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

Here we have in this passage, a glimpse into a real, live, example of a human being. There are times when we read Scripture too quickly and we tend to raise those who are hero’s in the Old Testament as bigger than life figures that we could never identify with. But when we stop and look at times like these for example, we see a complete and total human being dealing with the God of the universe but feeling the same things that we do and dealing with them in the same manner as we do these days.

Doubt, insecurity, worry, and fleshly thinking.

Gen 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.

Gen 15:8 And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?

We have already dealt with the fear that Abram felt, even when God had given him His Word. Now we see a hint of worry. “This is my land, How do I know that I will inherit this land?”

We still see that Abram is flesh and blood. He is a mortal, limited human being speaking to an unlimited God, and yet the Lord still deals with him with such grace and mercy, just like He deals with you and me today.

Gen 15:9 And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.

Gen 15:10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.

God gives Abram a sign and this comes in the form of what would be used in confirming covenants – Jer 34:18,19

Gen 15:11 And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.

Gen 15:12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.

Many times, in Scripture, birds are pictures of evil. Abram had done exactly what God has prescribed for him to do. He has taken each animal and divided them as God described, but pretty soon, the birds get a whiff of the picnic laid out there before them. So Abram drives them away, but he wears himself out.

How many times do we do the same thing. We have done exactly what God has described. We have done exactly what He lays out for us, we have our work set out, laid out for God to use when He sees fit. So we wait on the Lord and right in the middle of our work for the Lord we get side-swiped with evil. We get hit with sin. The birds of evil come down to devour what we are doing and to get us side-tracked or focused on what we are doing, or our fight.

So we decide to do things on our own. We decide to please God by how hard we are working.

The natural thing is to want to drive it away, to fight for what the Lord has given us, to hit sin head on.

But that will only lead to one thing if we rely completely on our own power and our own works

Burn out!!!!!

We will quickly find ourselves in the same situation that Abram found himself in, we will be wore out, beat up, burned up, and sleep deprived when all God wants us to do is rely on Him. Yes there are things that we need to do and things we must take care of, but we must rely on the Lord for what He gives us to do.

Gen 15:13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

Gen 15:14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

Gen 15:15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.

Gen 15:16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

Abram must have been wondering what his future would be like, because God seems to throw this in. Again, this shows just how human Abram is, and it shows how our nature is. Right in the middle of all this, he is worried about himself. We also see something that many folks don’t seem to want to acknowledge – the mercy of God

Many times we hear how the God of the Old Testament is a God of death and judgment and how the God of the New Testament is a God of life and mercy but I am here to tall you that they are completely wrong.

400 years God gives the Amorites to give up their lewdness and disobedience before judgment will be handed down.

Gen 15:17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.

Gen 15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

Gen 15:19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,

Gen 15:20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,

Gen 15:21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

When two individuals come together in the ceremony of a covenant, they would take the carcass of the animal to be sacrificed and cut it into two parts. Both parties would then walk between the two halves and shake hands as a binding thing between them. The blood would signify that these two meant business and that if either one broke this covenant, there was blood to pay, meaning the outcome was death for the one who broke this promise.

Abram wakes us to see that God does not just enter into a covenant with Abram – He becomes the surety of this covenant between them, meaning that God takes the initiative to take responsibility for this covenant.

The smoking furnace and burning lamp possibly mean that the sacrifice was completely consumed, meaning that God was satisfied with what is going on.

God then proclaims the total listing of the land that Abrams seed will occupy. The Israelites have yet to receive the total given by God.

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About Clint Rodgers

I am a father of 2 wonderful children and the husband of a beautiful woman who has taught me more about compassion for goofballs than I could have ever learned. I have know Jesus for many years but about 5 years ago I truly met Him and now I do my best to follow Him as I walk in this world
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