God’s Covenant with Abraham

Speaker: Rev. Shine Thomas

Scripture: Genesis 15

Introduction: How many of you have received promises from God? It is always exciting to get a promise, but waiting for that promise to fulfill is a painful process. Maybe you are praying hard and tired of waiting for the promise. Maybe you do not even have a hint of what is going to happen to you looking at your present life. You may be wondering where are God’s promises. Do you feel you are anywhere near to God’s promises and your vision or dream in life? Do you ever feel you can achieve your dreams and promises in life? Let us see what the Word of God says about achieving our promises in our spiritual life.

Read Genesis 15.

Brief History: God called Abraham and promised blessings for him. Abraham obeyed and left to that unseen land by faith. In Genesis 14, we see Abraham walked in integrity and he won a great battle, the only battle in his life. Abraham knows God gave him the victory. Everything is going fine in Abraham’s life – great status, lots of servants, riches, etc., but if you look deep into Abraham’s life there is one thing that makes his life hopeless. He does not have a child; there is no hope for the future.

How many of us feel like this? You may feel life is just pulling on but still there are issues that need a touch from the Lord. We are tired waiting and praying for those issues. We see God trying to comfort Abraham. Genesis 15:1. 1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” God is trying to show his love. See how Abram responds: v2&3 2 But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” Here Abram is complaining. He starts his sentence with O Lord! Many times we too end up complaining to God about our life. From Abram’s point of view it is definitely frustrating. He and his wife are getting old; Abram is almost 85 years old. He knows his time is running out and the promise of a son is not yet fulfilled. God promised Abram his own son, but now Abram is thinking outside God’s plan.

In those days if a man was childless he could adopt a faithful servant so that the estate and the wealth do not go into wrong hands. Therefore I feel there is absolutely no mistake on Abram’s part if you think in a worldly point of view. But Abram had a greater promise and a great God which he did not realize. Many times we put worldly thoughts ahead of God’s plans. Remember we have a great God and a great promise in Christ Jesus. Let us see how God responds.Genesis 15:4-5. 4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.” 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” God does not shout at Abram. God does not tell Abram he does not have the right to complain. God understood Abram’s situation and his state of mind. If you are going through a rough patch in life it is human to complain to God, but understand we have a God who will always love us. In the Bible we come across many people who have cried to God in their despair. See Habakkuk 1:2 & Psalm 13:1-2.

Listen, God understands our situation better than we do. We all have got promises from God and God is concerned about our situation, it is just that it is not the right time according to God’s calendar. See how God responds. God corrects Abram’s thinking. God made it very clear to him that he will have a son from his own body. Then God demonstrates his promise to Abram. God is telling, “Abram it is not Plan B, I want plan Plan A to materialize in your life. I want a son from your own body.” Many of us are thinking of plan B in our lives, somehow we feel that God is late. Remember God has his own way and let us wait for his ways, i.e. plan A. Once God has reassured Abram God is promising his word through a covenant.

 GOD’S COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM

Genesis 15:9-21

Covenant

A covenant is a contract between 2 parties. It is more serious and binding than a contract. In the Old Testament times when 2 parties entered into a covenant they would cut an animal into 2 and set it apart. The ground between the two pieces was full of blood coming out of the dead animal. Then both the parties would walk in between and there are witnesses watching this covenant. In other words both parties are declaring to the witnesses that if either of them breaks the covenant they are ready to die like the animal that has been sacrificed.

Here God is entering into a covenant with Abram. God asks Abram to take a heifer (A heifer is a 3-year-old cow, never given birth), a goat, a dove, and a pigeon. Abram cut the animals as per God’s instruction except the birds. Then God and Abram entered into a covenant; see v17. God reiterates his promises to Abram through the covenant. Why did God do this to Abram? Abram needed a reassurance. God knew at this age Abram could not grasp the promise. When Abraham struggled in the future God wanted him to have a powerful image in his mind to remind him of this day, the covenant.

The two covenants that we have in the present day.

  1. Covenant of Marriage.
  2. Covenant of Salvation.

Covenant of marriage is the covenant made between the man and woman on their wedding day. Like the covenant between God and Abraham, here the couple declare to the witnesses that until death do them part they are not going to break the covenant of marriage.

Covenant of salvation is the covenant made between us and God through the blood of Jesus Christ and it is literally fulfilled when we accept Christ through water baptism. Here too like marriage we are not supposed to break our covenant with God until we reach the heavenly shore. Understand when we are in a covenant with God it is God who gives all promises in our life. It is to remind us that all his promises will be fulfilled in our life because Jesus is the guarantee for the covenant. The Bible says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” therefore let us trust in Him for all our promises to be fulfilled.

Conclusion: Abraham needed a reassurance so God made a covenant with Abraham. Many of us are facing the same circumstances. Understand, we have a new covenant in Christ Jesus. Our covenant was approved at Golgotha by the blood of the Lamb of God. This morning what is it that is worrying you the most. What is the promise that has not been fulfilled in your life? His promises will come true because of His covenant blood that Jesus shed at Calvary. We have to wait patiently for the right time. God is very much concerned about us and he will fulfill all his promises. Amen.