God Seals The Deal

by Mark Johnson on February 12, 2021

Genesis 15:1-21

   Someone has said that we often think there must be a logical reason why God chose Abram out of all the people in the world. Because Noah was singled out for being righteous, it’s easy to think that Abram was righteous, too. For example, when you watch Super Bowl LV today, the commentators will rattle off lots of stats about all the players and it will just seem logical why each player was selected for their position on that team.  If you don’t know anything about Abram’s background, it’s easy to assume that he had some good stats that there was something that caused him to get noticed above all the others.  

   But there really was not.  If anything, the stats were pretty sad. The two big red flags against him were that (a.) First, He was from a pagan region -- Ur of Chaldea (11:28) and likely from a family that worshiped idols. His father Terah was an idol worshipper (Joshua 24:2).  (b.) Second, he was a “good man” hiding behind his wife.  At the end of chapter 12, we see that Abram and his wife Sarai, went to Egypt during a famine.  Because she was strikingly beautiful, he wanted her to tell everyone that she was his sister so that they would spare his life, if they wanted to take her.  And that’s exactly what happened twice. Once in Egypt where Pharaoh took her into his house as his own and again in Gerar by king Abimelech. Both times it would seem like he was willing to protect his life by misleading about his wife. And yet, despite all of his character flaws, God chose Abram to bless the nations of this world.

I. God Makes the Deal
    In chapter 12, God basically says to Abram, I will make a deal with you.  And the terms of the deal were that Abram would have to leave his country and go to the land God showed him. God would make of him a great nation, where He would be a blessing to all people thru him and his descendants. Notice, God didn’t say, if you do these things first, then I’ll give you all those things.  No.  God just said, this is what you will do & what you will become.  It was simply a pure gift.  

II. Abram Questions the Deal
    [v. 2-5] Abram is fully aware of God’s promise to make of him a great nation.  But he’s also very aware that his wife, Sarai, is barren.  They have no kids, so it would seem like common sense that his servant Eliezer would stand in line to inherit Abram’s wealth & be the stand-in father for the descendants that God is promising.  Abram is filled with questions and God was patient with him.  

III. Abram is Changed by the Deal
    [v. 6] Abraham believed the Lord’s promise. Because he trusted in the mercy of God, his sins were forgiven and he was credited as righteous.  It’s an accounting term:  All the things you owe that are normally under the Debit column, are paid up and moved to the Credit column.  He believed and he was credited as righteous.  Simple as that.    His faith in God, who is righteous, made him righteous.  In the same way, God calls you to believe in Him. He has chosen you and offered His promise of eternal life. Because of God’s initiative and grace, Abram is a new person. 

IV.  God Seals the Deal
    [vv. 9-10] Now to seal the deal God Abram to draw up the equivalent of a modern-day contract.  Instead of it being written out on paper like we expect, they split an animal in two.  That was the “contract.”  Instead of signing a piece of paper, they walked through the middle of the carcass.  The understanding was that, if either party failed to live up to their side of the bargain, then let them end up like the slaughtered animal. Both parties entered into the agreement under penalty of death.

   It’s interesting to note here that only God, not Abram went between the slaughtered animals.  God is the only one who could ever keep the terms of the covenant.  Abram with his sinful nature could never hope to keep a contract with God. God, alone, seals the deal.
   In spite of having no tangible evidence, Abram puts his trust in God Almighty. God has made a covenant with each one us today and sealed the deal not by walking between the carcasses of sacrificial animals, like He did so long ago with Abram,  but through the shedding of the blood of His Son Jesus Christ on the cross. He is the only one who can seal the deal because He is the only one who will honor the deal.  Let us put our trust in Him!



Tags: god, blessings, covenant, abram, deal, starts in the sky

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