A Promise of Land. Genesis 15:7-21 October 6, 2013

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1 A Promise of Land Genesis 15:7-21 October 6, 2013 Introduction God has a plan and when His plan is to fulfill a promise for His people we can rest assured that God will see it to through the end. In our lesson God promised Abram not only children, but also a place to call home for them. This promise would not come overnight. God assured Abram that though it may take some time, it will be theirs. Genesis 15:7 And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. A few verses before we reach this point, God told Abram to go outside and look up at the night sky. He asked him to count the stars if he could and then demonstrated that s how many descendants will come from him, Gen. 15:5. This was a mighty promise for a man who had no children, and yet it was just the beginning of the promises that God had for Abram. Our lesson this week picks up in verse 7 where God has yet another promise, and that is the promise of land. God previously called Abram to walk away from everything he knew. Abram, by faith, went where God led him. Here, after looking up at the stars he can also view the land. This is the place where God wanted his people, his descendants to dwell. In the future, this land that Abram sees before him will be home to his people. Pay special attention to that word inherit. We are often most familiar with that word when someone passes away and leaves to those behind their valuables and life possessions. God was giving His people a possession. They were going to

2 gain ownership of a land they did not build or plant as their own because God was the one securing it for them through this promise (see Jos. 24:12; Deut. 6:11). Genesis 15:8 And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? For most of us we cringe at the idea of Abram questioning God when He just gave him this mighty promise. Previously, God and Abram had a conversation which covered a promise of an heir. God assured him that his heir would not come from his servant. It was at this point, which we covered above, that God told Abram to count the stars. But, in verse 6 it clearly states, And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness. So, Abram wasn t asking because he didn t believe God, He was asking because He did believe God. He believed that everything God spoke to him was true and was going to happen, but like most humans he wanted to know more. He asked, Whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? Genesis 15:9-11 And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not. And when the fowls came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away. Abram did what God required of him. This has been his pushing force ever since he was called at of the land of Ur; to do what God required of him. Abram gathered and prepared the things necessary to enact this covenant per God s request. Once the animals were divided they gained the attention of the fowls who feed off of dead carcasses of other animals. Abram, knowing the animals he divided were for a divine cause, shooed away those who would think to eat on them. Genesis 15:12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.

3 As these verses read it appears that when God asked Abram to go out and view the starts in verse 5 it was night time. Then it reads of the dividing of the animals which must have been during the day. Now, in this verse the sun was going down. Abram was spending time communicating with God. This was not a fly by the seat promise that took fly by the seat time. This was quality time conversing and doing what God asked of him. When the sun went down Abram experienced something he probably had never encountered before, an horror of great darkness. Being the traveler that he was he was more than accustomed to the darkness. But, this darkness is described as great, meaning that it was out of the ordinary. This was not an average experience; this was a big deal and with it brought an horror. Often we associate the word horror with fear, and rightly so. Genesis 15:13-16 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. God has a plan and a perfect timetable and He let Abraham in on it in very great detail. Many Bible students are very familiar with this timetable. Know of a surety thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs This dates all the way to the story of Joseph and how he ended up in Egypt through the jealousy of his brothers. To make a long story short, as many say, his family, due to a famine, ended up in Egypt with him where they were strangers, (Genesis 37; 39-47). God gave assurance to Jacob during that time and said, Do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again..., (Gen. 46:3-

4 4). As God initially promised Abram, they will return to the land of their inheritance. And shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; come, let us deal shrewdly with them, let they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land. Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens, (Ex. 1:8-11a). Thus began their years of servitude and hardship under the authority of Egypt. And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge God told Moses in Exodus 6:1, Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land. Since the subject and the focus of this lesson resides in the Promise of Land, here we see where God assures Moses that by the time He is done with Pharaoh he won t want them in his land any longer, opening the door for them to return to their promised land. Shortly after God spoke these things to Moses, the Ten Plagues started. God was going to judge them. And afterward they shall come out with great substance In Exodus 3:21-22 it reads, And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go emptyhanded. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, namely, of her who dwells near her house, articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians. In Exodus 12:35-36, at the time of their exodus, it states that is exactly what happened allowing the people to come out with great substance.

5 But for Abram, he would go to thy fathers peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. Genesis 25:7-8 tells us, This is the sum of the years of Abraham s life which he lived: one hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people, to his fathers. When he does pass from the scene he still goes with the promise, in the fourth generation they shall come hither again. The reiteration of God s promise is that his descendants will return home to their inheritance but it would happen on God s timetables; For the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. Genesis 15:17 And it came to pass, that when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. With the covenant offerings still divided on the ground, Abram saw a vision of what would represent the presence of God, a smoking furnace and a burning lamp walking between the pieces. God not only told him of the promises but demonstrated through this sign that He was in the midst of it and would work it according to His perfect will. Genesis 15: In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the rive Euphrates: The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites. God lists many nations and though they may be many the places where they are is not permanently for them. This land is allotted and spoken for by God for His people; Unto thy seed have I give this land. God signed and sealed it with His covenant He made with Abram.

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