Gods Covenant And Blessings To Abram And A Nation Of Hebrew People
What is a Covenant?
The cool thing about God is that it is God Himself who INITIATES the contact between God and man!
In every other religion, you have the story of man’s search for God (by whatever name they call him). But ……
In Christianity you not only have the story of Man’s search for God; you also have the story of God’s search for man! This we learn through all the Covenant agreements that God make with man through out the Bible…..
What an awesome God…… Can you say today that you truly serve Him? It’s ok if you say no really, but what is important that you are open to believe that truly exists. And if you do that HE will make HIMSELF real to you…..
We are continuing our journey through the Bible today in Genesis.
One of the best ways to remember the basic content of Genesis is first of all to simply know that the Book of Genesis itself covers the entire period before Israel becomes a nation.
And a 2nd way to remember is the first five words and the last five words.
Almost everyone knows the first five words” In the beginning God created…” but many do not know that the last 5 words are “ in a coffin in Egypt.” These are the boundaries— everything from creation to Joseph’s death and being placed in a coffin in Egypt is found in Genesis.
We are basically continuing to studying an overall view of what I am going to call ;
THE CHOOSEN SIX IN GENESIS
Anyone know the Six I am referring to? Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph
The Book of Genesis covers a long period of time and we will be here for quit sometime as it covers a period more than all the Old Testament and New Testament combined.
In Fact, just the first eleven chapters alone covers 2,100 years—- Adam, the father of the human race, and Noah, through whom the world was spared and repopulated.
At the end of these first eleven chapters, we come to the pivot point of the entire Bible.
John Stott ( A Christian Leader of world wide Evangelicals) Whom Time magazine ranked Stott as being among the 100 most influential people in the world, Refers to the first three verses of chapter 12 as “perhaps the most unifying verses of the whole Bible,” because they set the stage for everything that will happen from here to Revelation.
- Its here that God makes 2 promises to Abram that changes the whole world as we know it. In Vs. 2 He promises to make a great nation out of Abram and then makes an even greater promise in vs. 3 when He tells Abram that “all families of the earth will be blessed through him.”
You might say it’s the plot or foundation of the entire Bible.
The seed line of what to come!!! The beginning of what we know now that would change the world for the believer!!! God’s plan for a nation and a kingdom for eternity!! Gods plan to crush the head of the evil one the serpent!! The plan of Salvation!
A Family and a Nation that would lead to a Kingdom restored into the rightful place where God initially intended it to be. The Promise of a Son!! For Abraham and a Son that would the world would eventually come from this promise called Jesus!!!
I have some Maps to show of the move of Gods people and his plan of restoration alone the journey.
The First is to show the region and the surrounding : Map of Nations Review::::
Review: 4 major moves for Abram and his tribe of people
- The first move was obviously from Eden to somewhere, because that is where it all began. After Adam and Eve sinned, God drove them out of the garden that He had prepared for them. We note that God allowed them from that moment on to walk accordingly to their own desire.
So what do they choose to follow south towards the fertile region (toward the Persian Gulf?)
My thought was that they were following the way s that others had gone……..
- God will allow us to choose our own destiny and most of the time we take the easy route. Now the easy route is not always bad. As long as God is on your side and or He is leading you!
- Or sometimes we choose to follow others who have already paved the way even at times when we know that might not be the best way for us or that the one’s we are following are not healthy and it could be more than a risk at best….
- God wants us to follow Him and the leading of the Holy Sprit
Then God decides He is tired of the rebellious people and chooses a man called Noah to speak to again and when the flood came and destroyed all but eight people they find their self back North on Mt. Ararat.
But once again they migrated southward where they had been before. And in fact, there was some major population shifts after the flood that took them even farther out all the way to UR and even beyond.
- Sometime when we are going in the wrong direction we get lost even more than we were before we started down the wrong road……
- God’s timing is not always our timing. Sometimes wither we make detours on our own or we just plain and simply have to wait on the Lord. It’s at those times that our true identity will be tested and determined!
- WE always need to remember that God’s plans are not our own most of the time. There’s always a bigger picture. It’s up to us to trust and Obey and let God do His part. He will as long as we are doing our part.
This map begins to paint the picture of Abram and where he was born and the region he lived in!! Specifically UR:
Look at Move 2 map:
One of the real focal points of scripture is God’s appearance to Abram in the land of UR at which time God gave 2 promises as we talked earlier in this dispensation of time and the movement of Abram, we find that God makes the what is called, the Abrahamic Covenant. (Gen. 12 1-3) God singles out one man—
God promised (Covenant) “to make a mighty nation” and to “bless all families of the earth.
Peter in the book of Acts 3;25 preaching said 25 It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’
Paul speaking to the church in Gal. 3: 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.”
Understanding these 3 vs, is a key principle in understanding the Bible Old and New…. Because these 3 vs, contain, in key elements in Gods purpose and plan.
Move #2 was the initial part of this command. Abram did not go all the way to the Promised Land immediately; but he did leave UR and move to Haran where he stayed until his father Terah, died.
Move # 3
After Abram father died, God renewed the commission and Abram moved from Haran on into Israel. Once, he was there this “nation” that God had promised to make of Abram began to grow.
We will see in the next few chapter of how it took 25 years since the promise that God give him but finally the promise would be born…..
We will discuss the next 4 major moves in up and coming weeks. Move 4: From Israel to Egypt Move 5 Egypt back o Israel Move 6 Israel to Babylon and Move 7 Babylon Back to Israel……
Read Genesis 15: 1-6
- Discuss the underline argument in Romans 4 Paul had that justification is by faith.
- Abram accepted the divine promise of a son and expected it to be fulfilled even when it was physically impossible!
- Not that his faith was accounted to him for righteousness before he personally was circumcised as a sign of his covenant with God and more than 400 years before the law was given to his descendants.
So, neither circumcision nor the law had any part in Abram’s righteousness.
What was it made him righteous before the Lord?
His trusting faith! His trusting faith was accounted him to righteousness and an acceptable substitute before God for right conduct.
- God continues to seek out men and women who will trust Him completely through obedience to His Son Jesus , and He will accept that kind of faith as a substitute for perfect righteousness…. Ex. Samuel to Saul “Obedience is better than sacrifice”
You see, although Abraham was a man of faith, he did not possess full assurance of faith. It’s one thing to have faith. It’s quite another to have full assurance of faith. Right after God told Abram in verse 7 that He was going to give him this land to possess it, Abram replied, “O Lord God, how may I know that I shall possess it?” Now, this was not the question of an unbeliever. We know that because verse 6 tells us that Abram believed in the Lord. It was the question of a believer who has a little faith, but needs to grow strong in faith, and be assured of what God had promised. Notice, that God doesn’t rebuke Abram for asking the question. When Zacharias asked the angel who told him that he and his wife would have a baby boy, he asked, “How can these things be?” And for that unbelieving question, he was struck dumb until the baby was born. Abram was more like the fellow that cried out, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!” In this instance, God graciously helps Abram to come to full assurance that what He had promised He indeed would perform.
So, how does God bring Abram to full assurance of faith? He cuts covenant with him. Notice verse 18, “On that day the Lord made (cut) a covenant with Abram.” God’s answer to Abram was a covenant which would provide Abram a guarantee that he would inherit the land. The reason companies offer a money-back guarantee is to take away the customer’s fear of buying the product and than not being happy with it. But with a money-back guarantee we know that if something goes wrong, we can always get our money back, and we haven’t really lost anything. This covenant provides a guarantee to Abram that he would inherit the land. This was what the Lord would use to bring him to full assurance of faith and remove the fears he was experiencing. It’s also what the Lord can use this morning, to bring you to full assurance of faith.
Vs. 17 Discussion from last week: Tells us it was a smoking oven and a flaming torch. What was this smoking oven and flaming torch representing?
The presence of God!
Don’t think of the smoking oven and flaming torch as two different things. The oven was cylindrical, and out of the top of it appeared a flaming torch. So, what did Abram actually see? He saw this cylindrical oven with smoke and fire coming out of the top of it. Does this remind you of anything else in Scripture? Sure, the pillar of fire and cloud that guided Israel through the wilderness (Ex. 13:21). Also, the smoke and fire that encompassed Mt. Sinai when God was about to enter into covenant with the nation of Israel (Ex. 19:18). In all of these, the fire and smoke are symbols of the divine presence. So, what is actually being communicated is that God alone passed through the animal parts! It’s as though God was saying, “If I don’t keep My Word, let me be cut in pieces like these animals! If I don’t do what I said I would do, then you can unGod me!”
Today God is the same God! “ He is the same today as he was in this agreement with Abram, as he was with His Son Jesus! And He will be for evermore!!! He does not change, Man might change his mind but if God said than you can count on it!! Glory be to God!!!!!!!!!!!!