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Covenant #4

When two people enter into a covenant, neither belongs to himself any longer because those who enter into the covenant take on an obligation to their covenant partner. In covenant, two become one. They make an obligation that literally would require their lives if the broke it. Covenant is serious business. Can you tell that I'm determined to get that across? To understand covenant is to understand the details of God's plan and His purpose for your life.

Gen 15

God's Covenant With Abram

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."

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."
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."
6 Abram believed the LORD , and he credited it to him as righteousness.
7 He also said to him, "I am the LORD , who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it."
8 But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD , how can I know that I will gain possession of it?"
9 So the LORD said to him, "Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon."
10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the LORD said to him, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure."
17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river F74 of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates- 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites."

So this is the "after this". Abram has defeated an army many times greater than his own. A king and a priest named Melchizedek has appeared out of thin air and blessed Abram with bread and wine. He in turn then blessed God showing us the elements of the covenant to come. Abram has snubbed the king of Sodom by not taking what he offered after Abram had rescued the people and the goods and now here we are in chapter 15.

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." 

After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision.......

How does the word of God come to us? The short answer is any way God wants it to. In this particular instance it says that the word came in a vision. The Hebrew word for word is dabar. Dabar simply means to speak. The Lord simply spoke to Abram. Does He still do that? Sure he does but are we listening? Do we recognize it when He speaks?

word = dabar to speak

The verse says that the Lord "came" to Abram. The Hebrew word for came is hayah. Which means ....

came = hayah (haw-yaw) to be, to become, to exist, to happen

Root of hayah is...

hava (haw-vaw) to be, to happen

Root of hava is...

avah (aw-vaw) to desire, to covet, to wait on longingly, to prefer, to crave, to long for

Let that one soak in for a second. The Lord desired for this to happen, He craved it. He had been waiting on this moment longingly. The moment that he would become really become real to Abram, the moment that he would exist to Abram and this was it. We know that Abram did not believe the Lord, or just half-hearted believed Him up to this point. Remember what went on in Gen 12?

Gen 12:1-8 (NIV)

The Call of Abram

1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.

2 "I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you."

4 So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD , who had appeared to him.
8 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD .

That sounds great! Abram has got it! Abram knows that the Lord has spoken and that the Lord is in control and that the Lord has a plan and it's a good plan and that all he has to do is to keep believing in Him and the plan will come to pass and Abram will be blessed and he will become a nation and there is nothing or no one in heaven or on the earth that can do a single thing to stop it right? Well, not so fast.

Gen 12:10-13 (NIV)

10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, "I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, 'This is his wife.' Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you."

What did he say?

As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, "I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, 'This is his wife.' Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.

So did Abram believe the Lord or not? NO!!! He obviously didn't. The first thing we have to do in any covenant is believe that the other person! Abram did NOT believe God when God spoke in Gen 12. That is shy God is back in Gen 15 doing it all over again. Abram did what God said to do but didn't keep believing in what God had told him....

2 "I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you."

As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, "I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, 'This is his wife.' Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.

Abram did not believe that God was going to protect him. He thought that he had to cook up a crazy plan, and trust me folks, this is one crazy plan, to somehow save himself. Anyone you know ever guilty of that one? You ever cook up the crazy plan to save yourself when God as already told you that He will do it? Oh people, how shallow we are as Christians today. How little we trust the King of the Universe. How small is our faith? How ashamed should we be that we think that little of the the Lord of Lords?

 So lots look deeper at the next words.

shield: magan (maw-gane) shield, buckler

buckler: one that protects

Root of magan is...

ganan (gaw-nan) to defend, to cover, to surround

very or exceedingly: mod (meh-ode) exceedingly, greatly, in great abundance, to a very great degree

Root  of mod is...

'uwd (ood) firebrand

firebrand: a piece of burning wood, one that created unrest and strife, one that aggressively promotes something, an agitator

great: rabab (raw-bah) to become great, to multiply, to become rich, to increase greatly

reward: sakar (saw-kawr) wages, to pay

wages: a payment for labor or services usually according to a contract

The reward is not just handed out to anyone. Payment for labor or services according to a contract. We have a part in this. This points back to the verses in Gen 14. This is why we need to be trained. We have a contract with God. His part is the hard part. He is the one that is responsible for doing what needs to be done. Our part is simply to believe and to trust Him and not stop believing and trusting.

 The question of the week is simply this. Do you believe God? It took some time for Abram to get it. Do you have a grip on it? Do you truly believe that He will be your shield and you great reward? The first thing that we must get down is that the basis of any covenant is the fact that both parties have to believe and trust each other.


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