Summary: God has made a covenant with his people, and if we keep the covenant we will be blessed.
Covenant With God
Text: Gen. 15:1-18
1. Read Gen. 15:1-18
2. What is a covenenant?
ƒæ The word means "to bind," ¡XInternational Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ƒæ "the covenant is that which binds together the parties." ¡XInternational Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ƒæ A covenant with God is "a mutual agreement; God with His commands makes certain promises, and men agree to keep the commands...the promises are conditioned on human obedience."¡XInternational Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Thesis: God has made a covenant with his people, and if we keep that covenant we will be blessed.
Transition: What is the covenant based on?
I. Who God Is (1)
1. The Lord tells Abram that he is his shield.
ƒæ "refers to an object which provides covering and protection to the body during warfare." ¡XTheological Wordbook of the Old Testament
ƒæ God knew that Abram was afraid so he promised to be his protection.
2. He promised Abram that:
ƒæ When trouble came he’d be there
ƒæ When enemies surrounded him they would not touch him
ƒæ When the battle came he would fight for him
3. Ps. 91:4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
4. "Airplane On Fire, Save Yourselves"
Charles Sawyer, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, tells about the planeload of people flying across the Atlantic. A voice comes on the intercom:
"We are now flying at 35,000 feet. If you will notice, out the right window, the two engines on that side are on fire, and the engines on the left had to be stopped. If you look directly below, you will see a yellow sea recovery raft with six small dots on it. The dots are the pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer, navigator, and two hostesses. This is a recording."¡XEncyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations
5. When you are in covenant with God you do not have to worry because he will not abandon you.
B. Exceedingly Great Reward
1. The Lord also tells Abram that he is his exceedingly great reward.
2. What exactly does the Lord mean?
ƒæ Perhaps Abram is thinking about the stuff that he had just turned down from Melchizedek in Gen. 14:21.
ƒæ Maybe he is second guessing himself.
3. What the Lord is saying to Abram is "forget about those things and think about me. I am all you need (Horton, 123)."
4. Lam. 3:24 "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him!"
5. Phil. 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
6. No matter what the:
ƒæ God is enough
Transition: The covenant is also based on...
II. What God Can Do (2-6)
A. One From Your Own Body
1. After the Lord tells his all of this, Abram gets another bad case of the "yeah-but’s."
ƒæ Lord what can you give since I have no children
ƒæ Some foreigner is going to inherit my estate
ƒæ Unless I have a son all of the stuff in the world won’t matter
2. In essence what he is saying is "Lord you can’t give me what I really need."
3. However, the Lord quickly corrects Abram’s thinking.
ƒæ Abram this man will not be your heir
ƒæ Flesh of your flesh and bone of your bone will be your heir
ƒæ "Abram, I AM able to give you what you need"
4. The Lord takes Abram outside and shows him the stars.
ƒæ Can you count them?
ƒæ So will your descendants be
B. God is Not Limited
1. When we are living in a covenant relationship with the Lord we must understand that there is nothing he can’t do.
2. God is not limited by our:
3. Illustration: My nephew Brian, "It’s okay, my Daddy can fix it."
4. When we are in a covenant relationship with God we know that it is "okay my Daddy can fix it."
Transition: The covenant is also based upon...
III. What God Says (7-18)
A. The Lord Made a Covenant with Abram
1. The Lord reminds Abram of his promise to inherit the land, but Abram asks how he can be sure.
2. Obeying God¡¦s instructions, Abram severed in half (v. 10) three animals¡Xa heifer, a goat, and a ram (v. 9)¡Xand also brought a dove and a young pigeon.
ƒæ This was the customary way in which covenants were ratified in the ancient world.
ƒæ The two parties in the agreement would pass between the severed animals as testimony of their covenant.
ƒæ Although he didn’t have to, God used human means to show to Abram that he would keep his word.