Bible Reading – Genesis 15
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:
Genesis 14 and 15 easily make up one of my favorite passages in the Bible. In the devotion from Exodus 25 on the Ark of the covenant, I briefly spoke about God’s covenant with Abraham, and I wanted to deviate from Exodus to highlight this passage.
By Genesis 14, Lot and his family were already living in the land of Sodom, and Sodom and Gomorrah were at war with neighboring kings and nations. During this war, Lot along with many of the people and possessions were taken from Sodom and Gomorrah. After receiving word of this, Abram armed his servants, chased down the opposing kings, and took back all the people and possessions that were captive. Upon their return, the king of Sodom told Abram to name his reward, which Abram refused. “Genesis 14:22-23 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:” Abram refused because he wanted God’s blessings alone, and that is all he would ever need. While Abram did not have a monopoly on God, God had a monopoly on Abram.
As we enter chapter 15, we see God’s response to Abram’s choice, “I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” Not ungrateful, Abram asked God what reward could he possibly receive. This begins the covenant process between Abram and God. God promises Abram an heir, and He instructs Abram to do something unique to the time period and culture. God tells Abram to get several specific animals and cut them in half, laying each side of the animal in such a way where a path would be formed in the middle. The purpose of this is somewhat similar (but quite a bit more serious) to a pinky promise someone might make today. Those involved in the covenant would walk down the path through the midst of the animals. If anyone broke their agreement, the fate of that individual would be the same as the animals that were split in half. This is a very serious covenant from God to Abram indeed! God does not take His Word lightly.
Likewise, God has a promise with man still today. We choose Christ and His eternal redemptive work on the cross, and God provides for us an eternal home in heaven. To secure this promise, Ephesians 1:13, 14 tells us that God gives us the Holy Spirit as the earnest of our inheritance. The Holy Spirit indwells us as an eternal reminder that we can’t go to hell, but we are eternally guaranteed a home in heaven with Christ! And though it is not possible for God to break His promise, if He turned His back on His Word and sent a saved individual to hell, He would be sending the Holy Spirit indwelling that believer with him. After salvation, it is spiritually impossible to be separated from God ever again for the rest of eternity because of the Holy Spirit! May Christ be our shield and our exceeding great reward!
— Eli Faulds