Tuesday, July 28, 2020

7.28.20 READ THE BIBLE WITH Amanda Grace: GENESIS CHAPTER 15 THE COVENANT THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING!!


Genesis Chapter 15: THE PROMISED HEIR & ISRAEL’S TRIALS FORETOLD

Genesis Chapter 15 begins with the word of the Lord coming to Abram in a vision.
And the Lord says:
Look at how Genesis 15 begins after THESE things the word of the Lord comes to Abram. After what things?
The answer is in the end of genesis Chapter 14 when Abram REJECTS all the wealth the King of SODOM (which would later be totally destroyed for its wickedness) offers him. It is Kind of a picture of when satan in Matthew 4 would offer Jesus all the kingdoms in the world if Jesus would bow down and worship him. I mean what a joke those Kingdoms are the Lord’s anyway to do with what he pleases. This is in a way of what happened to Abram because sodom was a pagan nation. Abram rejects that wealth because the Lord is his SOURCE for provision, not the King of Sodom. Satan does not want your riches he wants to own your soul.  In the end This was a test for Abram, and he PASSED! So after these things occur THEN the word of the Lord comes to Abram because Abram after these events has truly set himself apart.
Genesis 15:1 “Do not be afraid, Abram,
I am your shield;
Your reward [for obedience] shall be very great.”
DO NOT BE AFRAID! You know the Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever Glory to God.
Look at the second part “I AM your shield” There is the first mentioning it seems of the shield of faith in the Old Testament
It is very interesting because in many of the words the Lord has given me as of late you hear him say “FEAR NOT MY CHILDREN FEAR NOT”
Now why would He say this to Abram? Well.. the Lord is the Word which is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). So…..
Abram has had to leave his whole family, leave the land he knew, he almost loses Sarah to a womanizing pharaoh. So maybe needless to say Abram is on edge. The Lord Also knows there is something else Abram is very concerned about having to do with an heir and we see this in verse 2
However, Abram is also in canaan and VERY concerned these kings in whom’s buttocks he just wiped the floor with because of the might of Almighty God being with him, that these wicked kings were going to want retribution and come back after Abram. He was afraid.
Genesis 15:2 Abram said, “Lord [a]God, what reward will You give me, since I am [leaving this world] childless, and he who will be the owner and heir of my house is this [servant] Eliezer from Damascus?”
So Abram and Sarai have been Barren for so long I mean I believe at this point Abram is 99 and Sarai is 100. You see back in that time a male heir was crucial to a families survival of its line and next of kin.
Abram tells the Lord that Eliezer, his servant born in his house, is going to inherit all he has since the Lord has given him no child.
At this point verse 4 the Lord interjects with a Word
Genesis 15:4 Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This man [Eliezer] will not be your heir but he who shall come from your own body shall be your heir.”
Now Abram is 75 years old, he has just been told By God Almighty he is going to have a baby AT 75!! What do you suppose Abram was thinking at this point? SAY WHAT?!!! Um God are you feeling ok?
Our bodies are the masterpieces of their Creator, Yahweh, Almighty God. So if the Creator wants to cause a 90 and 99 year old set of bodies to produce a child, the Creator can masterfully engineer it to do so.
So the Lord wants to drive this point home to Abram so the Lord has him go outside
Genesis 15:5 And the Lord brought Abram outside [his tent into the night] and said, “Look now toward the heavens and count the stars—if you are able to count them.” Then He said to him, “So [numerous] shall your descendants be.”
After Abram hears and sees all of this genesis 15:6 is KEY here to it coming to pass
Genesis 15:6 Then Abram believed in (affirmed, trusted in, relied on, remained steadfast to) the Lord; and He counted (credited) it to him [a]as righteousness (doing right in regard to God and man).
Then Abram BELIEVED THE LORD, He trusted what the Lord said was not only true BUT was going to come to pass.
Now the second part here He (the Lord) counted or credited to Abram as righteousness
Now what is the basis of Credit, using Credit. You are receiving something now with a PROMISE in TRUST that the bill will be paid for later. This also was Grace, Grace was Abram’s hope and God’s Grace is our hope today that has not changed
Romans 4:1-4: What then shall we say that Abraham our father[a] has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was [b]accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted [c]as grace but as debt.

(Biblegateway.com notes) This was crucial to God’s plan of salvation, as can be seen above in Rom 4. There was simply no way that anyone except Christ, the spotless lamb, could ever be sufficiently righteous to meet God’s standards and avoid condemnation. Having faith in God and placing one’s trust in Him was not in itself something that could be a substitute for perfect righteousness, but God graciously determined to accept faith as an equivalent for that righteousness nonetheless. So in a sense, Abraham—and all believers since him, who are his spiritual descendants—received righteousness on credit, and the bill for that righteousness was paid by the death of Christ on the cross. Jesus, Yeshua, paid the price for us therefore purchasing us because he paid our bill, included the righteousness attributed to Abram on credit until the time of the Cross.
Genesis 15:7-8 And He said to him, “I am the [same] Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land as an inheritance.” But Abram said, “Lord [a]God, by what [proof] will I know that I will inherit it?”
How Lord do I know for sure this is my inheritance? Hmm sounds like mistrust doesn’t it? Why would Abram say this. After everything that had happened, Abram was still a man and his faith was waivering a bit.
Now the second part to this, back in that time when it came to inheritances or promises if they were real they had structure. There was always some type of physical agreement made or procedure to follows, or act to solidify that indeed they would inherit property, gold, silver, servants etc… it ratified it. God is a God of Order so there was going to be an order to this covenant as well.
Whether you know it or not, people want to deal with God on their cultural terms, as did Abram. Example what good would it to give proof to an American in a form that only someone from Egypt would understand in their culture? It would mean nothing to us, and the reverse applies as well.
You must also understand that Abram is in Canaan, he is far OUTNUMBERED by who I like to call the ITES (Amorites, hittites, canaanites)
You see Abram was entertaining all of these fears about being childless, and being outnumbered (in his mind) in Canaan. So the Lord is dealing with these fears and putting them to bed shall we say so they do not HINDER Abram because where the Lord is taking Abram he is going to need to have firmly rooted faith and a deep trust in Almighty God. You see during that time it was believed a man lived on through his heir, what you cannot see. And for a woman one of the most shameful things that could happen to her was to fail to produce an heir. So in a way Abram and Sarai are an oddity during that time and Sarai has been bearing all of this shame of being barren
Abram is waiting for God to put this promise into a middle eastern structure he can see and understand so he knows it is solidified.
The Lord makes it clear to Abram that He alone is going to protect him, and an heir will be produced through his bloodline, because to Abram it appears as if none Of this is happening or will ever happen. So the Lord is going to physically make this covenant that has huge spiritual implications
So in Genesis 15:9 the Lord tells Abram to go get a few things to ratify this because it is visible and socially recognizable for that day
We must understand to when the Lord makes a covenant, things on so many levels including in the realm of the Spirit are altered to now satisfy the terms of the covenant
Ancient records from different peoples during that time are full of these same type of covenant ceremonies. However NO WHERE in those records is there a God in one of these ceremonies who promises an irrevocable piece of land to a people as long as time is in existence
So God said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”
These are all what the Bible would consider clean animals
Now the Hebrew word for covenant is Beriyth which means to cut or divide. This is why as well with the covenant made on the cross Jesus himself had to be cut to ratify it.
So basically each animal is killed and cut in two EXCEPT for the birds the birds were left whole.
However these animals were not sacrificed, there was no altar, there was no burning up of the animals, rather this is God’s gift to humanity. This is the Lord swaring upon Himself, making a promise, and being bound by that promise to be true to his own.
So this action was ALL GOD, Abram was simply the recipient of this act
So now Abram is sitting and watching, he is even chasing off birds of prey because that spread looked like the Golden Corral to them and they thought they would swoop down and partake of this buffet. However Abram would have none of that.
However, there is a deeper meaning here. First of all what were these birds of prey. Well vultures go after carcasses of dead animals. And in the Bible vultures symbolize death. Who represents death but satan. You see even satan wanted to stop this covenant because it meant major damaging implications to him and his kingdom. So the birds of prey were sent to attempt to devour the carcasses BEFORE nightfall to attempt to steal the covenant. However, Abram chases them off. And as these vultures come down Abram instead of sitting there and doing nothing he ACTS. He gets up and chases them off.  Abram driving those vultures away we could view as the New testament equivalent of
James 4:7 So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you.
That act of getting up and running towards those vultures was resisting the agent that wanted to steal away the promise.
The enemy comes to steal kill and destroy John 10:10
So there was an attempt made to steal however, Abram acted, he got his hands dirty, he fought for it, and he was triumphant because those vultures departed, they fled.
Genesis 15:12-14 12 When the sun was setting, a deep sleep overcame Abram; and a horror (terror, shuddering fear, nightmare) of great darkness overcame him. 13 God said to Abram, “Know for sure that your descendants will be strangers [living temporarily] in a land (Egypt) that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years. 14 But on that nation whom your descendants will serve I will bring judgment, and afterward they will come out [of that land] with great possessions.
We see this deep sleep before in the Bible with Adam. This was not an Abram got tired so he went to sleep. No, the Lord put him to sleep
Now this great darkness, horror, dread that came over Abram. The Hebrew Word for this is chashekah- this does not mean darkness such as no lights. This is the same term used back in Genesis 1. It describes a spiritual sort of darkness, death, blindness. This is a negative term
What scares Abram so much is what God is telling him. That his descendants will become slaves for 400 years! Sounds lovely doesn’t it? I believe what Abram was feeling in that darkness and dread was the pain and oppression that his descendants would experience.
The difference here is that word oppressed. Because to Abram slaves were just purchased family members. Abram for sure did not oppress his slaves infact they were treated so well that had Abram died childless his servant Eliezer would of inherited everything Abram had.
However these descendants of Abram were going to become slaves and would be treated so horribly by who we now know to be the Egyptians.
The saving grace here is that the Lord assures Abram he would bring judgment upon the nation that does this to his descendants and they would leave that nation with a great amount of wealth. And we know from Exodus that this does happen when Moses is raised up to lead the Jews out of Egypt.
We must understand that God only performed all of this to give Abram peace of mind ultimately because Abram needed to be onboard with this plan for it to proceed. So God in His Graciousness lowered Himself and performed the standard human covenant solidification for that time, as a sign to Abram of the validity of possession of land, descendants, and most importantly a male heir
So God promises an identity, a national identity, to a people who are not even yet in existence! If that does not show you that the Lord is the Alpha and Omega. He is making a promise to a people who don’t exists yet!
In genesis 15:15 the Lord assures Abram that he would live to a ripe old age and die in peace, go to his fathers in peace. This indicates they live a full lifespan and not be cut off due to judgment, wrath, or pagan nations
We must understand that there was no clear understanding of an afterlife or heaven in this time
They probably expected to meet their ancestors in some way after death but had no concept of Heaven
Genesis 15:17-18 17 When the sun had gone down and a [deep] darkness had come, there
appeared a smoking [a]brazier and a flaming torch which passed between the [divided] pieces [of the animals]. 18 On the same day the Lord made a covenant (promise, pledge) with Abram, saying,
Now smoke and fire in the bible usually was the representation of the presence of God. So God, Yahweh, walked between these animal pieces signifying that the covenant was sealed and the terms would be fulfilled.
It was not Abram who walked between these pieces, why? Because this covenant, the fulfillment of the terms, was ENTIRELY on God to fulfill, therefore it was only God Himself who walked between those pieces
Genesis 15:19-21 is where the Lord calls out the boundaries of the land He is going to give to Abram and his descendants, the terms of the covenant: 19 [the land of] the Kenites and the Kenizzites and the Kadmonites 20 and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”
So Israel was at its peak size or capacity during the reigns of King David, and then His successor, his son King Solomon. However even at that size it never reached the boundaries that are stated in these passages.
Sometime in the future Israel will be larger than it has ever been and will fulfill the boundaries spoken of in this covenant. Although you have the Palestinians, nations as apart of the UN that are just salivating to chop it up and Divide it
Guess what, it is NOT their land to divide, AND they will NEVER succeed at it because there is a COVENANT in place with Israel that Almighty God ratified through a promise to Abram and ALL of his descendants.
I find it interesting that the animals were divided in 2 and each half placed opposite eachother because that is what they are trying to do to Israel cut it up and Divide it! Except the division of the animals brought a wholeness to that land that would be theirs.



1 comment:

  1. Wonderful teaching. I look forward to these messages. I'm so glad you are feeling better. Praise the Lord!

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