Genesis day 28: My favorite verses of the Bible
Okay…straight out teaching…I just have to do it!
I love these verses.
First off, just yesterday I am gushing all over Abram and how he is believing God and how God is counting Abram as righteous. I went “on and on” about belief. And then we come to Abram saying, “How will I know…”
Really? Isn’t this the same thing as “Help me believe”?
Not quite. There is a difference. It is one thing to believe God, to believe that God spoke to you. It is quite another to have God show you that you were not just imaging He was speaking to you. God shows Abram he was speaking to him—and it is not indigestion. Sorry for the sarcasm. But seriously, how do you know it is God speaking, and not you, projecting your heart’s desire onto God?
Abram believed that if God said his descendants would be as numerous as the stars, then they would be. The question was, did God actually speak? How could Abram know?
Simple. Go, get some animals and cut them in half. Before you say, “Yuck!” Let me explain. In Abram’s lifetime, kings would make treaties this way. They would cut animals in half, with the blood forming a river. Then the lesser king would walk through the blood trail as a visible statement. “Let this happen to me, let me be torn in two, if I fail to hold up my end of the contract.”
And you thought contracts could be brutal in our day and age.
The text says that the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain…and then a flaming torch and a smoking fire pot passed through the pieces, the blood trail. Before you shrug your shoulders let me ask you. If you have read the Bible (if you haven’t no worries), in the book of Exodus God leads the people through the dessert. How? With a pillar of fire by night and pillar of smoke by day—the flaming torch and the smoking fire pots are symbols for God.
God walked the blood trail that evening. This actually happened about 2,000 years before Jesus’ time on earth. That evening, God said, “Abram, may this happen to me, Almighty God, may I be torn in two, if you Abram, the lesser king, fail to hold up your part of this covenant.”
Let me say that again. God walked through and said: Abram, if you fail, may I be torn in two.
Another way of saying this is that God said he would pay the price for the shortcomings of Abram and his descendants…
My brothers and sisters, you and I sit about 2,000 years the other side of Jesus time on earth. Look now at the Cross—look at God torn in two.
I weep at this faithful God. God has kept his promise. God has by the blood of Jesus made it possible for every person to become a part of the covenant family of God, the family that descended from Abram.
These are my favorite verses…for they show us a God…who from the beginning is faithful.