Page 10 - April 2019 - Truth & Tidings
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A Call                               (vv1-6), again there was the promise of the
          God’s covenant with Abraham related   land (v7). Abraham had learned in chapter
        mainly to the land of Canaan, and the   14 that God is “the most high God, possess-
                                             or of heaven and earth” (v19); doubtless
        promise that his descendants would have
        title to it and occupy it fully. God had called   he understood that the Possessor had the
                                             prerogative to distribute it how He chose!
        him in Ur (Heb 11:8), with instructions to
        abandon his homeland and relocate to a   This Abrahamic Covenant was a one-
        land that He would show him (Gen 12:1;   sided contract whereby God pledged
        Act 7:3). On his arrival there he had liberty   Canaan to the patriarch and his successors
        to travel the length and breadth of the land,   without strings attached (15:18); this was
        but he never had ownership of any of it,   why God had brought him “out of Ur of
        except that he purchased a burial plot for   the Chaldees” (v7). Abraham had accepted
        Sarah at the end of her days (Gen 13:17;   the promise of descendants (v6), but now
        Act 7:5; Gen 23).                    he wanted a guarantee of the land (v8).
          At his call, God added a range of an-  A Custom
        cillary promises to the promise that He
        would show him the land. Although child-  In ancient times, when two parties were
        less, he was told that he would become “a   entering into an agreement, there was an
        great nation.” He would be blessed and   elaborate process involving sacrifices and
        enjoy personal greatness; he would be a   the dividing of the animals. The “signa-
        channel of blessing to others, and it would   tories” to the arrangement then walked
        be advantageous to take sides with him,   between the pieces as an indication that
        and detrimental to be hostile to him (Gen   they had struck a deal. Thus here, God
        12:2-3).                             demanded that various creatures be avail-
                                             able for sacrifice as an integral part of the
        A Confirmation                       covenant ritual.
          After the split with Lot, God invited   Notice that there was no requirement for
        Abraham to survey the territory – north,   Abraham to walk between the pieces be-
        south, east and west. This time the pledge   cause, as we have seen, this agreement was
        was not just to show him the land as prom-  all on God’s side; no obligation devolved
        ised at Ur, but to give him and his descen-  upon the patriarch. The miraculous ele-
        dants that land; “all the land which thou   ment in the procedure would be that God
        seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed   alone, depicted in the smoking furnace and
        for ever ”(Gen 13:15 KJV). It was confirma-  the burning lamp, would pass between the
        tion of the previous commitment, and im-  pieces of the sacrifices to satisfy Abraham’s
        mediately Abraham walked the length of   request for a token that His word would
        the land, settling at Hebron (Gen 13:14-18).  be fulfilled. In situations where sacrifices
                                             like this were required, there was a fore-
        A Covenant                           shadowing of the unique final sacrifice of
          Ultimately,  God  formally  contracted   the Savior. Here, promised blessing was
        Canaan to Abraham and his descendants   based on sacrifice, and thus it is with us
        (Gen 15). Having promised once more that   with regard to our spiritual inheritance.
        he would be the progenitor of multitudes   Abraham’s obedience should be noted.

        106 TRUTH kTidings   April  2019
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