Summary: There is always another test.
A. THERE IS ALWAYS ANOTHER TEST: GEN. 15:1-22
1. Scared. Abram had just defeated an army of four kingdoms. He might be afraid of a counterattack. “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great” (Gen. 15:1, NLT).
2. The Monday syndrome. We are vulnerable after a great victory. “Fear not, I am thy shield” (15:1). God knows our moment of weakness.
3. The second-guess syndrome. When we give something big to God, we may second guess ourselves and want the money/thing back. “I am thy exceeding great reward” (15:1).
4. There’s always a quiz, or essay, or final exam in God’s school. If God is not testing you, check your enrollment status.
“After the battle and meeting with Melchizedek, the Lord spoke to Abram, ‘I will protect you and I will be your reward.’ Abram complained, ‘O Lord, I don’t have a son to carry on my heritage. Shall Eliezer inherit my wealth and carry on my name?’ The Lord answered, ‘No, your servant will not carry on your heritage. You will have a son out of your bowels.’ The Lord showed Abram the stars. ‘Can you count the stars? No! You will have so many descendants that you can’t count them.’ Abram believed the Lord, and God declared him righteous because of his faith. ‘I am the Lord who will give you this’” (Gen. 15:1-7, Amplified).
B. TESTED CONCERNING FRUITFULNESS
1. The struggle of Abram’s life was no son. “What will you give me, seeing I go childless?” (15:2). Abram wanted the fruit of the womb.
2. We have two types of fruit.
a. Character. “The fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 3:22).
b. The fruit of soul winning. We produce another like our self.
3. God doesn’t tell you everything He’s going to do. Sarai is not mentioned yet. “But he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir” (15:4).
4. Earthy promise. In chapter 13:16 God told Abram to look at the land that He promised him. Abram was promised more children than the dust of the earth. “I’m going to give you so many descendants that like dust, they cannot be counted” (13:16, NLT).
5. Heavenly promise. In chapter 15:5 God told Abram to look at the stars. “Your descendants will be like the stars, too many to count” (15:5, NLT).
C. GOD’S PROMISE
1. Is it ever right to question God? “Lord, God, how shall I know that I shall inherit it?” (15:8).
2. God told Abram he would have a lot more than one son.
3. A conditional covenant/contract means both sides must fulfill their vow. Two men shake hands or clasp hands and seal the contract with blood.
4. God makes an unconditional covenant/contract with Abram. God will do it even when Abram/Jews are unfaithful.
5. The larger the animals, and the more animals that are sacrificed, indicates the size of the covenant. This was big. “Bring me a 3-year old cow, a 3-year old goat, a 3-year old ram, a turtle dove and a pigeon” (15:9, NLT).
6. God instituted the covenant, without Abram.
a. Abram was put to sleep. “A deep sleep fell upon Abram” (15:12).
b. God walked between the blood sacrifices by Himself. “A smoking furnace and a burning lamp passed between those pieces” (15:17).
7. Abram had a terrible dream. “Behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him” (15:12).
a. He dreamed his people would be captive in a strange land (15:13).
b. He dreamed they would be tortured (15:13).
c. He dreamed it would last 400 years (15:13).
d. He dreamed it would take 4 generations (15:16).
e. He dreamed he would die before it began (15:15).
f. He dreamed his people would return with great wealth (15:14).
g. He dreamed they would occupy the land from the Nile to the Euphrates (15:18).
8. What fruit should you ask of God?
a. Ask for fruit. “He that abideth in me and I in Him, the same bringeth forth much fruit” (John 15:5).
b. First criteria, “I in you.” Is Christ growing through you?
c. Second criteria, “You in me.” Are you claiming the promises of heaven?
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.