Genesis 15: 6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness. 7 And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. 8 And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? 9 And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. 10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not. 11 And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away. 17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.
Abraham had been through a rough spell. He and Sara found themselves in Egypt. Later he gave his nephew Lot the choice of land; he chose what looked best and moved toward Sodom. This got him into trouble. Abraham knew where to stop. He knew the borders.
Roads have borders. They tell us where to go and not go. They protect us. Lot didn’t pay attention to the borders in his life. He was taken captive. Abraham went after him and he went right back to Sodom. At that time God reiterated the promise to Abraham. When he needed God to speak, God spoke. Here the voice of God spoke before he materialized. When times are darkest God shows up.
Verse 6 tells us Abraham believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness. The Lord told him what to do and he wanted to know how he’d know it would all come about. God lined it out for him. He told him what was expected. There had to be an altar. He had to bring certain things to it. People think they can be saved any number of ways and that all roads lead to heaven. Nothing is further from the truth. In these last days one of the signs is that many claim to be the Christ and have the way. We’ll only get there by following God’s instructions.
Abraham had his family and servants and animals and his riches. They were like nomads moving from place to place and in so doing it was like moving a miniature town. God didn’t want all he had; he asked for specific things to be brought to the altar and laid out a certain way. Verses 9-10 tell us how he was to do it. Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not. If Abraham did what God said the way he said it, God would meet him at the altar.
Before the Lord can have our heart we must give it to him. Are we still as committed and dedicated to the Lord as we once were? Abraham brought the animals and laid them carefully on the altar. Anything goes now, but God still expects us to live carefully and ordered by him. God came down as a lamp in the darkness not in the light of all his glory. The horror of this world is bad but the terror of the Lord is to be feared more. It was a simple light but it brought God and Abraham into communion.
Some predators came. Vultures wait on death to eat and then pick it clean. Think on this for next week. God can take care of the vultures but he didn’t lay a hand on them. Abraham did. Study out how God can help us drive the vultures away in our lives.