101-115-Genesis Part 2 Chapter 15
In a vision the Lord came to Abram and assured him he need not fear. That the Lord would be his shield and the reward for his faith would be great.
Abram expresses to God the concerns of his heart. Not the little grievances of daily life but his anxiety over the promises that God had made to him. We must never complain of God but He is available for us to complain to Him. Talking to God is the best way to ease the burdens of our heart. God had promised that Abram’s seed would become a great nation yet he and Sarai had remained childless. Abram believed God that his promise was true but he had become anxious as to how and when. God reassured Abram by telling him, if he could, number the stars in the heaven. God assured Abram that his seed would be as the stars. If we continue in constant prayer and pray in humility for His divine will, we shall not seek in vain. Christians today express their concerns to God in prayer, but the faith by which they are justified is in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Abram believed God with the same kind of faith, he believed that God would give him a son in the same fervor that we believe that Jesus was raised from the grave. (See Romans 8:22-25)
Abram then questions God as to how he would know that he would possess the land God had promised. God told Abram to bring beast and divide them according to the ceremony used for confirming covenants, which Abram did. (Jeremiah34:18-19) Abram kept the birds of prey away from the beast that he had slain so that God could perform the sign to assure Abram. We too when making spiritual sacrifices to the Lord, should keep away the vain thoughts that enter into our minds. Just as Abram drove away the birds of prey and sought to wait on the Lord without distraction.
Abram falls into a deep sleep and the Lord came to him and spoke four prophecies. 1.”Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years.” The heirs of God’s Kingdom shall be strangers here on earth. They shall be servants and shall suffer. The blessed and beloved of God are sometime caused to suffer at the hands of wicked men. 2. “But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve.” Though God may allow wicked men to persecute His children he will bring justice upon them. 3. “Afterward they will come out with many possessions.” Abram’s seed being delivered out of Egypt is foretold. 4. “Then in the fourth generation they will return here” They return again back to the land of Canaan.
The smoking oven and the torch passing between the pieces was God’s way of consuming the sacrifice showing the He had accepted it. The fire consuming the sacrifice demonstrates that God’s covenants with man are made with sacrifice. (Psalms 50:5)