God's Salvation Covenant with Abraham.

God gives the third unconditional covenant of the book of Genesis to Abram.

The Lord’s Divine Recompense (verses 1-6)

God loves to reward saints who persevere through conflict and difficulty. Abram had refused the king of Sodom’s reward – Jehovah rewards him instead. His reward comes in three forms:

  1. Physical

    God promises that He is a shield around Abram – a promise that is true for all of God’s children and will always be. As Abram had just experienced in battle, God loves to protect those who serve Him well.

  2. Emotional

    God is interested in us as individuals and wants us to come close to Him. Abram expresses his sorrow to God over not having a male heir to inherit his estate. He is not complaining, but just talking to God. We can do the same in prayer. God knows you hurt and longs to encourage your heart. Those who go through tragedy realize that God is enough. You don’t really know the truth of that until you are in a hard circumstance and just have to trust Him.

    Without any artificial light, the human eye can see over 6000 stars at night. God uses this tangible experience to demonstrate another promise to Abram – that he will have many descendants.

  3. Spiritual

    Genesis 15:6 is the first use of a word for “faith” or “believe” in Genesis. Abram is the spiritual father of all whom God declares righteous by faith. Abram did not do anything to earn God’s favor; he simply believed, and God declared him righteous.

God comprehensively cares for His children in all areas of life. He is not only interested in our spirits, but our bodies and emotions as well. He will take care of His own!

The Lord’s Divine Reassurance (verses 7-21)

Abram is just conversing with the Lord and asks for reassurance that God’s promises will come true. God responds by giving Abram an unconditional covenant, the third offered to humankind (after Adam and Noah).

In a conditional covenant of that day (what we might today call a contract), the two agreeing parties would join hands and walk between pieces of meat as if to say, “if I break this covenant, may it be to me as to these animals.” But here, God alone passes between the animals. He is fully responsible for keeping the covenant.

What is promised by the God who cannot lie will be kept eternally. We can have the same confidence in every promise of God to us that Abram had in God’s promises to him.

Application Points

  • What emotional pain are you going through? “Take it to the Lord in prayer.” He cares about you personally and longs to show you that He is enough.
  • How have you seen God physically protect you? Praise God for being your shield! Save those stories to encourage you when another hard circumstance comes.
  • Are you trying to earn God’s favor? Religion leaves us in abject fear, never knowing if we’re good enough. God is the only one who can declare us righteous; we can never earn it. Trust Jesus alone!

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore:
  • Genesis 3:14-19, Genesis 6:18 – The first 2 unconditional covenants.
  • Philippians 4:6-7 – What to do in emotional turmoil.
  • Romans 4:1-12 – Religion contrasted to Faith.
A Hymn to Encourage: “A Shelter in the Time of Storm”

The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
Secure whatever ill betide,
A Shelter in the time of storm.

Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,
A weary land, a weary land;
Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,
A Shelter in the time of storm.

A shade by day, defense by night,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
No fears alarm, no foes afright,
A Shelter in the time of storm.

The raging storms may round us beat,
A Shelter in the time of storm
We’ll never leave our safe retreat,
A Shelter in the time of storm.

O Rock divine, O Refuge dear,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
Be Thou our Helper ever near,
A Shelter in the time of storm.

Quotes to Ponder:

A bad day with the Lord is 100% better than a good day without Him.