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Genesis 15 Slides for Study

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Study slides for uniform lesson for September 29

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Genesis 15 Slides for Study

  1. 1. Genesis 15:7-20 Covenant with Abram
  2. 2. Context The lesson reviews the Promise of Land to Abraham and his descendants. The study's aim is to student the timeless truths that appear in God's dealings with Abram and his descendants. The study's application is to align ourselves as best we can with God's ways and to trust in His plan for our lives.
  3. 3. Context After the Tower of Babel event (last week's lesson), the people clustered by language groups and migrated to different areas of the earth (see Genesis 10:5, 20, 31). Cities and civilizations developed. Groups such as the Sumerians and Akkadians became powerful. Their artifacts and clay tablets reveal much about them.
  4. 4. Context God's redemptive plan, for its part, was moving forward according to his schedule. That plan involved relocating a man named Abram from Ur of the Chaldeans (or Kasdim) to the land of Canaan. Several sites are mentioned as possibilities for the location of Ur, but the one that is about 170 miles south of Babylon seems to have the best evidence. Ur was a progressive city that some consider as one of the largest cities of antiquity. Estimates of its population are as high as 65,000.
  5. 5. Context Abram and his family left this thriving commercial area and moved to Harran in northern Mesopotamia. Genesis 11:31 states that Terah (Abram's father) is the one who led in the relocation. Abram was called to leave Harran after his father died (Genesis 12:1; Acts 7:4),
  6. 6. Context Today our focus centers on Abraham as we see God’s plan for man’s redemption begin to unfold. His initial call from God came while he was still in Mesopotamia (Genesis 12:1-3; see Acts 7:2). After moving to Canaan he and his family then had a sojourn in Egypt, and later separated from Lot.
  7. 7. Context In Genesis 15 Abram (as he was then known) asked God if his servant Eliezer would inherit his estate, since he remained childless (15:1-4). The Lord told him Eliezer would not, but instead “a son coming from your own body will be your heir” (v. 4)
  8. 8. Context God took Abram outside and told him, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them . . . So shall your offspring be.” Imagine looking into the sky on a clear night. How many stars can you count? Abram got the message! Abraham’s seed includes all who belong to Christ (Galatians 3:29). One day that group will compose a multitude so great no one can count it (Revelation 7:9).
  9. 9. Context Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness. Here for the first time in Scripture the principle of justification by faith is clearly set forth. Abraham is the father of all who believe (Romans 4:1; Galatians 3:6, 7). Salvation comes only through faith in Christ (see Acts 4:10-12). Abraham had unconditional faith in the Lord and his Word even when, humanly speaking, there was no reason to expect what God promised. Abraham demonstrated what he believed by what he did (James 2:21-24).
  10. 10. Genesis 15:7 Then God said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.”
  11. 11. Genesis 15:7 Abram expressed his belief in God when he moved from Ur (an area in Mesopotamia, an area in what is now known as Iraq) to the Promised Land. After he arrived, the LORD came to Abram again and identified himself as the God who had called Abram to move to the land of Canaan; the God that Abram had believed and obeyed when he had moved according to God’s command.
  12. 12. Genesis 15:7 In the Promised Land, the LORD came again to Abram in order to reaffirm His promise that Abram and his descendants would possess the land He promised him. Reference is made to this in Genesis 12 as well. Hundreds of years later when Moses proclaimed God’s message, a similar statement is included at the giving of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2; see also 13:3-5).
  13. 13. Genesis 15:7 Lesson: God clearly reveals Himself and His plan to those who trust in Him (Gen. 15:7) Reflection: We hesitate at this promise because we have sought the will of God before and found ourselves still wandering. Our struggle lies not with God’s provision but our inability to see or accept the answers that are being given.
  14. 14. Genesis 15:8 But he said, “O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?”
  15. 15. Genesis 15:8 Abram believed the LORD, and Abram wanted God to make a contract with him, called a covenant in the Bible, because the long-term possession of the land would include his descendants. They would need to know with contractual certainty that God had promised the land to them.
  16. 16. Genesis 15:8 Abram knew that if the LORD made a contract or covenant with him that God would not break His covenant, and Abram’s descendants would know that they would possess the land no matter what difficulties they faced in the future.
  17. 17. Genesis 15:8 Abram replied, “Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?” Keil writes, “(His question) was not an expression of doubt, but of desire for the confirmation or sealing of a promise, which transcended human thought and conception. To gratify this desire, God commanded him to make preparation for the conclusion of a covenant.” Abram wanted to know in greater detail how the promise would be fulfilled. The Lord prepared to show him!
  18. 18. Genesis 15:9 He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”
  19. 19. Genesis 15:9 To make His covenant the most firm or unbreakable covenant possible, God told Abram to bring Him several animals. The valuable domestic animals would have been used because of the importance and value of the contract. God also included a turtledove and a young pigeon. Later, doves and pigeons were used by the poor to fulfill God’s law when making sacrifices to God. God was making His covenant with all of Abram’s descendants, both rich and poor. Rich and poor alike among Abram’s descendants would possess the Promised Land.
  20. 20. Genesis 15:9 Later, God gave His law through Moses to protect the rights and property ownership of the poor among Abram’s children, the Israelites. When Joseph and Mary presented Jesus at the temple on the eighth day, we know they were among the poor because Luke wrote, “And they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons’” (Luke 2:24).
  21. 21. Genesis 15:9 Lesson: In His goodness, God often affirms His promises to His faithful children (vss. 8-9) Reflection: God does not need to repeat Himself but often does for the sake of us. Through His Word and the providence of life, He reminds us that He is in charge but more is committed to our redemption. Patience is the spiritual discipline of waiting for His affirmation.
  22. 22. Genesis 15:10 He brought him all these and cut them in two, laying each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two.
  23. 23. Genesis 15:10 God instructed Abraham to bring certain animals and birds that would be appropriate for this occasion. The ceremony described is also seen in Jeremiah 34:18, 19. God specified how the animals were to be cut in half and arranged. The heifer, goat, and ram were to be cut in two with a path between their carcasses.
  24. 24. Genesis 15:10 The covenant required sacrifice, and Abram offered three of these animals in sacrifice by cutting them into two pieces. He may have sacrificed the birds as the priests would do in a later time according to the Law of Moses (the Bible does not say that he sacrificed them, but we may assume that he did).
  25. 25. Genesis 15:11 And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
  26. 26. Genesis 15:11 God gave His promise of descendants as numerous as the stars in the evening when Abram could see the stars (Genesis 15:1- 5). God began to make His contractual promise or covenant with Abraham during the day (perhaps the next day, we are not told in the Bible). James E. Smith notes, “To walk that path was to pronounce a self-curse as if to say, May this terrible fate befall me if I fail to keep the promise I have given (see Jeremiah 34:18). Abram then waited for what he knew would be the most dramatic manifestation of God’s presence that he had yet experienced.”
  27. 27. Genesis 15:11 Abram no doubt exhausted himself keeping the birds of prey away from the dead animals in the heat of the day. Abram fulfilled God’s will and command; Abram provided the best animals he could for God to make the contract; Abram protected the animals from being eaten before the contract or covenant could be made with God.
  28. 28. Genesis 15:12 As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a deep and terrifying darkness descended upon him.
  29. 29. Genesis 15:12 As the day turned to early evening, a deep sleep came upon Abram, and he was terrified because the darkness was more than the natural setting of the sun in the evening. God was making with Abram the most solemn covenant possible, a covenant that would last for generations, a covenant that Abram would never forget and would never ask for again, a covenant that Abram would tell to His descendants. Abram needed to know, and God determined that Abram would know without question or room for doubt.
  30. 30. Genesis 15:12 Some suggest that the darkness was sent to make Abram aware of what his descendants would experience one day (Genesis 15:13). Abram’s descendants would also need to know, and perhaps think twice before asking God to make a similar terrifying covenant with them. They would need to believe God based on the testimony of Abram, and God would account their belief as righteousness (Genesis 15:6).
  31. 31. Genesis 15:13 Then the LORD said to Abram, “Know this for certain, that your offspring shall be aliens in a land that is not theirs, and shall be slaves there, and they shall be oppressed for four hundred years;
  32. 32. Genesis 15:13 God told Abram this future fact, and Abram’s later descendants could verify this fact through their own experience. When this future fact eventually became true, a fact they could not deny from their own experience because of the suffering they would endure and the miraculous rescue by God from slavery in Egypt, they would know with certainty that the contract or covenant God made with Abram included them as well.
  33. 33. Genesis 15:13 They would know with the fulfillment of Abram’s prophecy that indeed God had given Abram and Abram’s descendants the land to possess. 400 years is a rounded number for a period of time that Abram’s descendants would be slaves in Egypt. One hundred years was a rounded number for an average generation in Abram’s lifetime; however, blessed by God, Abram lived to be 175 (Genesis 25:7) and Moses lived to be 120 (Deuteronomy 34:7).
  34. 34. Genesis 15:13 Lesson: God alone can foretell the future with complete accuracy and astonishing detail (vss. 12-15) Reflection: Why do we seek that which we cannot have? What God offers to our limited minds is the affirmation of the present and the promise of the future. Yet we seem to hound God to give us more insight to that which we would not fully understand since we struggle with what is already revealed.
  35. 35. Genesis 15:14 but I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions.
  36. 36. Genesis 15:14 Because God is both merciful and just, God would punish Pharaoh and the Egyptians for enslaving Abram’s descendants. God was merciful to free Abram’s people from slavery after they had become a numerous people in the land. God was just to pay the Israelites for their labors during their slavery by having them leave Egypt with great wealth given to them by the Egyptian people as God influenced them.
  37. 37. Genesis 15:14 The Israelites would know of this prophecy and see it fulfilled; thus, they would have confidence that God had given them the Promised Land, and God would be just and merciful to meet their needs.
  38. 38. Genesis 15:15 As for yourself, you shall go to your ancestors in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age.
  39. 39. Genesis 15:15 God told Abram that Abram would not see all that God had promised him in his lifetime, but his descendants would see all that God promised him. Abram believe God’s promise and covenant, and Abram went to his ancestors in peace.
  40. 40. Genesis 15:15 Though he would be buried physically because his body would die, he would continue to live spiritually, because Jesus said that God was the God of the living; Jesus said: “And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, ‛I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is God not of the dead, but of the living” (Matthew 22:31, 32). Abram’s “good old age” was 175 years of life on the earth when his body was buried.
  41. 41. Genesis 15:16 And they shall come back here in the fourth generation; for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
  42. 42. Genesis 15:16 Four generations was approximately 400 years. God’s great mercy influences God to postpone punishments for sins by individuals, people groups, and nations for as long as He wisely can postpone them. God postponed the great flood in Noah’s lifetime until the thoughts and actions of everyone but Noah (and perhaps Noah’s family, we are not told) were evil only continually.
  43. 43. Genesis 15:16 God told Abram that his descendants would not possess the Promised Land until the evil of the Amorites was so complete and they were so evil that He must justly punish them, and do so for the benefit of others and them. God waited 400 years from Abram’s time before he gave the land of the Amorites to the Israelites. The Bible teaches, “The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
  44. 44. Genesis 15:16 Lesson: God has a perfect time for every purpose and plan (Gen. 15:16; Gal. 4:4) Reflection: Too often, we confuse our desires with His plan. We let our frustrations cloud our perceptions of His revelation. Faith like that Abram’s requires that we trust Him and His plan when we cannot see it in our current day.
  45. 45. Genesis 15:17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.
  46. 46. Genesis 15:17 The fire pot and the flaming torch represented to God in His holiness. Later, God would appear to Moses as a fire in a burning bush and the Holy Spirit would descend on Jesus’ disciples as flames of fire on the Day of Pentecost. The symbolism represents the one making the covenant as though he were saying, “May I be cut in half (or killed) like these animals if I do not keep my promise, or contract and covenant” (Jeremiah 34:18). Perhaps the Father and the Son are making this promise and covenant with Abram as symbolized by the flaming torch and the smoking fire pot.
  47. 47. Genesis 15:17 This has been called a “grant covenant.” It is God’s to grant, and man need not respond. Rather than personally walking between the animals, God sent a smoking firepot and a blazing torch to go between them, representing the fire of his holy presence.
  48. 48. Genesis 15:18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates,
  49. 49. Genesis 15:18 God gave this promise to Abram and it was an unconditional covenant or promise; which means Abram and his descendants did not need to do anything to “earn” their possession of the Promised Land. However, because the Israelites God freed from slavery in Egypt would not believe and obey God, only their children were allowed to enter and possess the Promised Land.
  50. 50. Genesis 15:18 God’s people would need to obey God in order to keep possession of the Promised Land (because they disobeyed God, the Kingdom of Israel lost possession of their land and the Kingdom of Judah spent 70 years in exile). Abram was counted righteous because he believed God, and he expressed his belief by trusting and obeying God. The Israelites entered to possess the land in the time of Joshua, but they did not acquire control over the entire promised area until the time of King David. They began to lose control over the entire Promised Land after King Solomon led them into idolatry.
  51. 51. Genesis 15:18 Lesson: What God promises, He will accomplish in His time and in His way {Gen. 15:17-21) Reflection: Debate with God has always been futile but wrestling with Him is understandable. Thankfully, He will not be dissuaded from what is best by our bickering but will attend to us with compassion and patience. Our comfort is to know that He will accomplish His plan even if for the eyes of our children and not ours.
  52. 52. Genesis 15:19 the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites,
  53. 53. Genesis 15:19 The people groups listed in Genesis 15: 19-21 forfeited their land slowly in the time of Joshua, the Judges, and King David. Moses saw the land, but he could not enter the Promised Land because he sinned against God as a leader of His people. Later, Moses would appear with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, so we know Moses repented and lived spiritually with God after his physical death (Matthew 17:1-8).
  54. 54. Genesis 15:19 Joshua’s experiences in conquering the land through various battles show that their success depended on their obedience, and people were conquered or evicted from their land as punishment for their sins.
  55. 55. Genesis 15:20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim,
  56. 56. Genesis 15:20 The Canaanites may have been metalworkers of some kind, perhaps in copper, since only the Philistines worked iron. There may have been a close relationship between the Canaanites and the Midianites. They were never totally removed from the Promised Land, but lost control of their land.
  57. 57. Genesis 15:20 Caleb’s father was a Kenizzite and they were eventually absorbed into the tribes of Israel (Numbers 32:12). We know very little about the Perizzites, but King Solomon enslaved them. The Rephaim were probably giant people who lived in the land (Deuteronomy 3:11).
  58. 58. Genesis 15:21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”
  59. 59. Genesis 15:21 When God gave the Amorites over to Israel, God made the sun stand still so Joshua’s army could defeat them (Joshua 10:12). “Canaanites” is a general name for all or most of the people who lived west of the Jordan River in the land of Canaan.
  60. 60. Genesis 15:21 The Girgashites were a tribe of people who lived in the land of Canaan. The Jebusites inhabited the City of Jerusalem and they were not conquered by the Israelites until King David defeated them.
  61. 61. Conclusion The Girgashites were a tribe of people who lived in the land of Canaan. The Jebusites inhabited the City of Jerusalem and they were not conquered by the Israelites until King David defeated them.
  62. 62. Conclusion The bottom line for Abram was that God’s promise was now much more specific. Abram would have a son of his own through whom blessings would be poured out. Abram’s offspring would be very numerous and, in time, would possess the land. But before this, they would go through a time of delay and great difficulty.
  63. 63. Conclusion The essence of Abram’s faith was that while he waited for the promise of future blessings, he was content in the meantime with the presence of God. Abram did not come out on the short end of the stick. Abram’s great reward was God Himself: “I am a shield to you; your very great reward” (Genesis 15:1, NASV).
  64. 64. Conclusion Our theology has been greatly distorted in recent days. We are invited to come to Christ as Savior because of all that He can and will do for us. We may have come to Him for His presents, rather than His presence. Abram was neither cheated nor short-changed in the delay of God and in the difficulties he and his offspring faced. Abram was blessed, for if God is our portion, that is enough.

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