The Book of Genesis

week 24

Chapter 15:7-21

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note: all scripture is from the NKJV unless noted otherwise

Chapter 15:7-21

Gen 15:7-11 7 Then He said to him, "I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it." 8 And he said, "Lord GOD, how shall I know that I will inherit it?" 9 So He said to him, "Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon." 10 Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. 11 And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

In verse 7 we see God's purpose for Abram. And the purpose was to give Abram the land for himself and his descendants. And who is one of those descendants? Jesus!
Have you ever wondered what God's purpose is for you?
Maybe you don't think that He has a purpose for you.
But He did the very moment you were born.
Remember back in Genesis chapter 2.

Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Have you ever though about the day you were born and how the doctor spanked or pinched you to make you take that first breath?

Now have you ever thought about that first breath, and considered the fact that God breathed life into you?
That's right, God gave you your first breath, to bring you to life.

So many times we forget how God is with us from the moment we are born till the day we die.
Maybe it doesn't seem like God has been with you lately, or maybe He has put you on hold for something more important to take care of?
Don't believe that for a minute.

The fact is that God started working in your life the day you were born and He's not finished yet.
Sometimes it seems like God isn't there for us.
But in reality it's us who's not really there with the Lord, or we're just doing something that is not His will, trying to make God bend to our own desires.
But God is always there doing a good work in you. Meaning that God has a purpose for your life and He will complete it in His way and His time, even if it doesn't seem so right now.
So next time you think God is not there, remember that God is not a quitter and will not walk away from a job He has started.
Even if that job is in you!

Phil 1:6 And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.

"How shall I know that I will inherit it?" This is the second time that Abram questions God and His promises.
But before you start harping on Abram, we need to look at our own lives.
It's so easy to say to Abram, "Why don't you believe God, Don't you know you and Sarai will have a son, and from your descendants will come Jesus?"
The answer is, no. Abram didn't have the bible, because he was living the bible at the time. But still he believed God as we saw last week.

Gen 15:6 And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

We have the same thing, God's word.
If someone invites you over for dinner, do you doubt that they will have food for you to eat?
If you speed and you're pulled over by a police officer, do you doubt that you will get a ticket?
If I said that the sun would shine tomorrow, do you doubt that?
If you were to walk out to your car and try to start it, do you doubt that it would start?
We put more trust in our friends; the authority of this world, our teachers, and even our man made machines then God.
But if God says something in His word, we doubt it and study it to make sure it's true, and then not really believe it until it comes to pass.
And even worse, after it does come to pass, we start to doubt whether God did it or not.
Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins and that you will go to heaven?
Do you believe that Jesus is coming back?
If you believe that Jesus is alive, why do you live like He's dead?

Abram did believe God but still he wanted to know how it would happen.
And Gods response was, "Abram, let Me worry about that, you just believe and worship Me. (my own interpretation)"
Are you looking for a sign from God? God's answer is:

Romans 1:24-25 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Sometimes seeking a sign is seeking the creation rather then the creator, God.

But God answered Abram with a sacrifice.

Let's take a look at each offering mentioned by the Lord and what they represent.

Heifer is a:

Peace offering
Lev 3:1 'When his offering is a sacrifice of a peace offering, if he offers it of the herd, whether male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the LORD.

Provides atonement of innocent blood
Deut 21:1-9 1 "If anyone is found slain, lying in the field in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess, and it is not known who killed him, 2 "then your elders and your judges shall go out and measure the distance from the slain man to the surrounding cities. 3 "And it shall be that the elders of the city nearest to the slain man will take a heifer which has not been worked and which has not pulled with a yoke. 4 "The elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with flowing water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and they shall break the heifer's neck there in the valley. 5 "Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for the LORD your God has chosen them to minister to Him and to bless in the name of the LORD; by their word every controversy and every assault shall be settled. 6 "And all the elders of that city nearest to the slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley. 7 "Then they shall answer and say, 'Our hands have not shed this blood, nor have our eyes seen it. 8 'Provide atonement, O LORD, for Your people Israel, whom You have redeemed, and do not lay innocent blood to the charge of Your people Israel.' And atonement shall be provided on their behalf for the blood. 9 "So you shall put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you when you do what is right in the sight of the LORD.

A She-Goat is:

Atonement for the person who sins
Num 15:27-29 27 'And if a person sins unintentionally, then he shall bring a female goat in its first year as a sin offering. 28 'So the priest shall make atonement for the person who sins unintentionally, when he sins unintentionally before the LORD, to make atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him. 29 'You shall have one law for him who sins unintentionally, for him who is native-born among the children of Israel and for the stranger who dwells among them.

Turtle-Dove and Pigeons are:

Trespass offerings
Lev 5:7 'If he is not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring to the LORD, for his trespass which he has committed, two turtledoves or two young pigeons: one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering.

Atonement for a woman after a child is born
Lev 12:6-8 6 'When the days of her purification are fulfilled, whether for a son or a daughter, she shall bring to the priest a lamb of the first year as a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove as a sin offering, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 7 'Then he shall offer it before the LORD, and make atonement for her. And she shall be clean from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who has borne a male or a female. 8 'And if she is not able to bring a lamb, then she may bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons--one as a burnt offering and the other as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement for her, and she will be clean.' "

Part of the Sin offering
Lev 14:21-22 21 "But if he is poor and cannot afford it, then he shall take one male lamb as a trespass offering to be waved, to make atonement for him, one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering, a log of oil, 22 "and two turtledoves or two young pigeons, such as he is able to afford: one shall be a sin offering and the other a burnt offering.

Back to Genesis.

11 And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

What do we allow our sacrifices to God to become polluted with?
Have you ever thought about that? We sing praises to God then turn around and allow the music of the world to pollute our minds. Even in our prayers we worship the Lord and allow the things of the world to creep in as we are praying, taking our minds off the Lord and putting them on the things of this world.

Gen 15:12-16 12 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then He said to Abram: "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. 14 "And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 "Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16 "But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete."

God was telling Abram a prophecy concerning his descendants. No wonder there was great fear in Abram, knowing that his descendants would be suffering for 400 years.
And we see the beginning of this prophecy in:

Ex 1:8-12 8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 And he said to his people, "Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; 10 "come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest 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." 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel.

Ex 12:40-41 40 Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. 41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years--on that very same day--it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.

As you read this you may be thinking that God said 400 years but in Exodus it says 430 years, what's the problem here?
Read carefully, it says they will be afflicted four hundred years. The first thirty years they had good treatment because Joseph was next to the Pharaoh in command. It wasn't until after Joseph died that they began to be afflicted.

14 "And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.

And we see this happening in:

Ex 12:35-36 35 Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing. 36 And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.

15 "Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age.

Once again this came to pass in:

Gen 25:7-8 7 This is the sum of the years of Abraham's life which he lived: one hundred and seventy-five years. 8 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.

16 "But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete."

We see this in:

Ex 6:16-20 16 These are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. And the years of the life of Levi were one hundred and thirty-seven. 17 The sons of Gershon were Libni and Shimi according to their families. 18 And the sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. And the years of the life of Kohath were one hundred and thirty-three. 19 The sons of Merari were Mahali and Mushi. These are the families of Levi according to their generations.
20 Now Amram took for himself Jochebed, his father's sister, as wife; and she bore him Aaron and Moses. And the years of the life of Amram were one hundred and thirty-seven.

From Jacob came: Levi, Gershon, Amram, and Moses, four generations.

Gen 15:17-21 17 And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. 18 On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates-- 19 "the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, 20 "the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 "the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."

The smoking pot and torch represents God.

Ex 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.

The children of Israel had something visual to see for Gods direction.
And so do we, we have His word which lights our path.

Psalms 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.

Even as the children of Israel used excuses for not following God, so do we do the same thing.
"If only I could see a sign, or if God would just talk to me" we always say.
You have the sign and His words right there in front of you.
Maybe it's time to open your eyes and ears to what God wants to show you and say to you instead of what you want to see or hear.

Ask God to do just that. Open your eyes and ears to His word.

Matt 13:16-17 16 "But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 "for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

2 Cor 9:6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

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