Grace Protestant Reformed Church

God Demonstrates That He Realizes His Promises

Date: PM
Text: Genesis 15:7-21
Psalters: 172, 260, 238, 376
Series: Abram
  1. The sign.
    1. God used a ceremony of that day to demonstrate how His promises of children and land would be kept.
      1. Three animals and two birds, all used as sacrifices in the ceremonial law; animals were in their prime.
      2. Those making an agreement were to walk between the two rows.
    2. The nature of God’s covenant is one of intimate communion, a sharing of one life.
  2. The certainty of God’s promises to Abram is seen in that God alone passes between the rows of dead animals.
    1. God’s covenant with His people is unilateral, both in its establishment and realization and in its maintenance.
      1. Abram fell asleep, and drove away the birds of prey.
      2. God declares to this undeserving, but elect Abram, that He will be his God and he would be Jehovah’s.
    2. First, there was a horror of darkness fell on the scene, making Abram fearful.
    3. Then God passed through the rows of animals as a smoking furnace and a burning lamp.
      1. The smoking furnace is judgment and the burning lamp is light (salvation).
      2. Psalm 97:2 equates “clouds and darkness” with “righteousness and judgment.”
  3. Abram learned.
    1. Canaan, though inhabited by the Amorites, would be Abram’s when God would justly remove them.
    2. God made plain that His promises (to give Abram the land) are closely connected with the covenant.
    3. It is a great comfort that God alone establishes and maintains His relationship with us.
      1. Our sins and wretchedness makes us think that the fulfilling of His promises is impossible.
      2. But God alone establishes and maintains His covenant with His people by grace alone in Christ alone.