A long ago promise from God for today

Renee Ann Smith —  July 3, 2012 — 17 Comments

Have you ever felt invisible? You wonder if God has put you in a corner and forgotten about you. Your wants and needs seem insignificant to Him. When these feelings build up inside me, I long for reminders that God understands me. That He knows exactly what I can bear. That He is not surprised when I sin and disappoint Him and fall short. That He just . . . loves me.

One of my favorite reminders comes from the Old Testament, Genesis 15. In this chapter, God promised childless Abraham that he would have a son and that his descendents would flourish. God promised the land of Israel to Abraham, warned Abraham about difficult times in the future, but assured Abraham that he would end his life in peace.

And then God made a covenant with Abraham, He made a commitment, that what God says will happen, WILL happen—or else. God instructed Abraham to bring Him a heifer, a goat, and a ram. Abraham sacrificed them, cut them in two and arranged them on the ground opposite each other so that the blood flowed in between the two rows.

My commentary reads, “This was a very common practice in the desert communities of the Middle East. The animals were cut in two and placed opposite each other so that the blood formed a pool, a so-called blood path, in between the pieces as they drained. The two parties then walked through the blood as a way of saying, ‘May what was done to these animals be done to me if I do not keep this covenant.’ The one who failed to keep the covenant paid for it with his life.”

Then God caused Abraham to fall into a deep sleep. In a vision, Abraham saw a smoking lamp pass through the blood path. The lamp represented God, who was basically saying, “Abraham, if I break my promises to you, then may what was done to these animals be done to Me.”

Wow. Pretty incredible that the Creator of the Universe would hold Himself accountable to a mere man. But that’s just Part I of the covenant. Abraham had to know what came next. He, Abraham, was supposed to pass through the blood path. He was supposed to say, “God, if I break my promises to you, then may what was done to these animals be done to me.”

But Abraham knew, he could never keep his promises to God. No one could. I can’t imagine the fear and despair he may have felt in that moment.

So what happened? That was it? The covenant was over before it was even begun? Nope. A flaming torch—representing God—passed through the blood path.

What does that mean? That means that God held Himself accountable for Abraham’s part of the covenant, too. God basically said, “Abraham, I’ll do your part. If you break your promises to Me, then may what was done to these animals be done to—Me. Not you. Me.”

So God was willing to die just to give Abraham a child, a home, and a future? Yup. And no matter what happened in Abraham’s life, no matter how he messed up, he could always remember the powerful promise God made to him.

The promise God made that day wasn’t new, and it wasn’t just for Abraham. It hints at the coming of Jesus, the One who passed through the blood path for us so that He could give us all that we long for. It’s a powerful promise. And each time I remember it, I find peace, reassurance, and hope.

“We are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. Since you are Christ’s family, then you are Abraham’s famous ‘descendant,’ heirs according to the covenant promises.” ~Galatians 3:29~

This week I’m linking up with Monday Musings, Playdates with God, Soli Deo Gloria, Call Me Blessed, A Pause on the Path, Teach Me Tuesdays, Gratituesday, Good Morning Girls, Thought-provoking Thursday, Hearts 4 Home Thursday,  Your Thriving Family, and Beholding Glory.

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

17 responses to A long ago promise from God for today

  1. Love how you teach as well as share a lesson on this blog. coming over from A pause on the the path hop and glad I found your post.

  2. A great, inspirational post, Renee, and reminder that God considers us significant and has not forgotten or forsaken us. Happy July 4!

  3. That beautiful covenant love.

  4. Wow, this is really speaking to me today…thanks

  5. I really like your opening paragraph. I often feel that way. Thanks for the encouraging words today.

  6. Thanks so much for sharing Renee! Powerful stuff!! I loved it!

  7. Yes, we are all God’s people and therefore “Abraham’s famous descendant”. Thank you for sharing with us all over at NOBH!

  8. I love that God keeps His word to us in all things. Thank you for the reminder and for sharing at WJIM.

  9. I’m unworthy, but not in God’s eyes. He makes me worthy. Amazing how that works.

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