Genesis – Chapter 15: God’s Covenant with Abram

Woohoo!  This is the 100th post on this blog, which I started in November 2014.  It’s been quite a ride and one that I hope to continue for a long time yet.  In Genesis Chapter 14 we learned about the story of Abram rescuing Lot, who was captured by a group of kings in the area.  Chapter 15 appears, from the title, to bring Abram a covenant with God.

Chapter 15 begins with Abram talking to God about his lack of offspring.  The Lord tells Abram not to worry, for a son will soon come.

“Then the word of the Lord came to him:  ‘This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.’” – Genesis 15:4

The Lord goes on to say:

“I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.” – Genesis 15:7

Again, I must question the possession of this land for it is NOT unoccupied.  We will later learn that much death and destruction comes to the people already living in this land.  A just God would not do this.  A just God would lead Abram to an unoccupied land or already place Abram in the ‘promised’ land.  Next Abram says:

“O Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?” – Genesis 15:8

A reasonable question, but God’s response, which should be “Because I told you so and I am a powerful God!” instead says:

“Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.” – Genesis 15:9

Uh, okay.  Very specific and a very odd response to Abram’s question.  And why three years old?  What if Abram brings a 4 year old goat?  Will Satan take over the world then?  Abram brings the animals and this is the last we hear of them, making the request even odder.  Abram falls asleep and while sleeping the Lord comes to him and says:

“Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years.  But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.” – Genesis 15:13-14

There’s great value in sacrificing something in one’s life for the betterment of your offspring, but being enslaved for four hundred years?!?!?!  This is the best God can come up with?  If that is God’s offer to me, my answer is thanks, but no thanks.  I’ll figure out a way on my own to make this happen in less than four hundred years.  Sure, the nation enslaving me will be punished, but that’s small potatoes compared to four hundred years of enslavement.  I would never sign that deal knowing my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and several more generations will suffer.  There must, and most definitely is, a better way.  The story gets even better as the Lord tells us Abram will not suffer any of this.

“You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age.” – Genesis 15:15

That’s a horrible parent right there.  No loving parent sacrifices the well-being of their children in this way.  I would be ashamed to know my children would suffer as I see peace and death at a good old age.  God ends with:

“To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates—the land of the Kenites…” – Genesis 15:18-19

There’s the proof this land is occupied.  Who cares about the people already living there?!?!  God has decided Abram and his people are more important.  Again, clear evidence of an unjust God.

That concludes Chapter 15.  God tells Abram he will soon have a son, and He tells Abram that this land will be his people’s one day.

Coming Soon:  Genesis – Chapter 16:  Hagar and Ishmael

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