We will begin this lesson in Genesis 15:1 “After these things the word
of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I [am] thy
shield, [and] thy exceeding great reward.”
God came and spoke to Abram in this vision, because Abram had about
given up on having a family and the promises of God coming true. God’s first
statement to Abram, as it is to us today, is “fear not.” Fear is not faith.
It is the opposite of faith. He told Abram, here, (I didn’t say that you
could do this by yourself). God said, I am your protector, and this thing
that I will give you is not of your own doing. It is a reward to you,
because you believe me, for no other reason.
Genesis 15:2 “And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing
I go childless, and the steward of my house [is] this Eliezer of Damascus?”
Genesis 15:3 “And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and,
lo, one born in my house is mine heir.”
Abram was telling God: I don’t have any children for these promises to
be carried out through, what good will it do to give me anything? It will
die with me, and this servant will inherit my goods for lack of a son to
leave it to. Abram was really feeling sorry for himself.
Genesis 15:4 “And, behold, the word of the LORD [came] unto him,
saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of
thine own bowels shall be thine heir.”
God sees our broken hearts and encourages us. He corrected this
gloominess in Abram. He re-issued His promises to Abram.
Genesis 15:5 “And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now
toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he
said unto him, So shall thy seed be.”
He had already promised Abram about the numerous seed, but now He
showed him visually the promise. Abram spiritually saw all the stars of
heaven, and truly they are innumerable.
Genesis 15:6 “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for
Isn’t this an interesting statement? The Scripture above did not say
that Abram believed what God said, it says Abram believed in the LORD. LORD
is capitalized meaning Lord Jesus Christ. To be the father of the believers
in Christ, Abraham had to believe, also. I believe the encounter of Abram
with Melchisedec was recognition of the Lord Jesus Christ. His belief in the
Lord made him righteous:
Genesis 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.”
He said to Abram here, you didn’t leave Ur just to find a better place
to make a living. I brought you out so that I might give you this land as an
Genesis 15:8 “And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall
Just like so many in our day, who hear God’s voice and want to know for
sure that this is God, so did Abram.
Genesis 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.” Genesis 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.”
In other words, I will make a covenant with you. The animals being 3
years old could be symbolic of the three years of Jesus’ ministry here on
the earth, or it could mean that these animals had grown to maturity and
were something of value to sacrifice. The fact that the pigeon and
turtledove were not separated could, possibly, mean the unity that the Holy
Ghost (dove) brings to believers. Most of these animals and birds would
become sacrifice for sins in later ceremonies. A covenant of lasting value
includes shed blood. It seals the covenant.
Genesis 15:11 “And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram
drove them away.”
Here, the symbolism really takes over; vultures were descending on
these offerings to God. The devil descends on the Jews, and on believers in
Christ today, but the covenant with Abram still wards off the enemy. Our
faith, as Abram’s faith, puts the old devil to flight even now.
Genesis 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.”
Darkness is an absence of the light. This darkness that fell meant that
there would be a falling away of the descendents of Abram, and a curse would
fall. Similar to what happened in the dark ages. Faith in God was very weak
at this time.
Genesis 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;” Genesis 15:14 “And also
that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they
come out with great substance.”
God was telling Abram, here, what God’s foreknowledge told Him about
the descendents of Abram in Egypt. They would be servants of the Pharaoh for
400 years (40, time of testing, x 10, world government). God tolds Abram,
but there would come a day when He would punish Egypt for mistreating His
people, and they would spoil the Egyptians, and bring out great wealth. We
will learn in a later lesson that 70 go into Egypt, and nearly 3 million
came out of Egypt.
Genesis 15:15 “And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be
buried in a good old age.”
This Scripture, above, pretty well defines what happens when we die.
There is a separation between the spirit and the body, here. He first said
you will be at peace with your ancestors. The spirit leaves the body and
goes to heaven, if you are a Christian. God told him that his body would
rest in the grave, until it is resurrected and reunited with the spirit.
Genesis 15:16 “But in the fourth generation they shall come hither
again: for the iniquity of the Amorites [is] not yet full.”
God gave these Amorites an opportunity to repent. (They did not). A
generation, here, was 100 years.
Genesis 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.” Genesis 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:”
The Bible says that God is a consuming fire. This presence of the smoke
and fire, here, was some form of a Godly appearance to make covenant with
Abram. There had to be shed blood to seal the covenant. Abram’s part of the
covenant was to believe that God would truly keep covenant with him. Even
though this land did not belong to Abram’s descendents until much later, God
drew off the lines right then what would belong to Abram’s descendents. They
are still fighting about this very thing even today in Israel.
Genesis 15:19 “The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,”
Genesis 15:20 “And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,”
Genesis 15:21 “And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites,
and the Jebusites.”
There were 10 peoples mentioned here. This was God dealing against
world government. these people did not follow after God. Their land would
be taken from them, and given to the descendents of Abram, when Moses led
them to the promised land.