Genesis 15:7-21 How Will I Know?

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Introduction: The LORD promised Abram THE land. 7

I.  The Land Covenant Ceremony 8-11

A.  Abram asked for assurance of the promise of the Land 8

B.  God instructed Abram to prepare a covenant ceremony 9-10

1.  Abram prepared the covenant ceremony 10-11

2.  He assembled, slaughtered, and arranged the required animals 10

3.  He protected the carcasses from vultures 11

II  Clarification of the Covenant 12-16

A.  How the Land would be given: through troubles, deliverance, and finally, blessing 12-14

B.  To Whom the Land would be given: NOT Abram, but his descendants 15, 18a

C.  When the Land would be given, and, why a 400-year delay? 16

  • Leviticus 18:24 ‘Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. 25 ‘For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants.
  • “By the time of the invasion of the nation of Israel (430 years after this covenant was made) Canaanite religion had denigrated in its form, artistically, morally, and administratively.  It was at its lowest point ever. When Joshua led the nation of Israel over the Jordan River he was leading them into the worst religious environment imaginable.  Human sacrifice, cultic prostitution, enslavement of women, and the coarsest idolatry so offended the invading Israelites that they nearly completely destroyed all traces of it in the land.”

III.  Ratification of the Covenant: Symbolic and Unilateral 17

A.  The Symbols of the LORD: furnace and flame 17

1.  The smoking furnace: divine presence and protection 17a

2.  The flaming torch: divine leadership and illumination in darkness 17b

B.  The covenant was ratified unilaterally

  • 2 Peter 3   9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
  • As Abram did not himself participate in the actual covenant ratification, the entire responsibility to keep the covenant rested on the only One who had walked through the pieces: the LORD God.

C.  Identification of the geographical/ethnic boundaries of the Promised Land  18-21

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