Sunday, May 2, 2021

God’s Timeline – Part 23 The Lord’s Covenant with Abram


God’s Timeline – Part 23

The Lord’s Covenant with Abram

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith Church | |

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Abram and the Covenant with God

SERMON INTRODUCTION (2021 A.D. = 5781 Jewish Calendar Year)

 -         Creation Week (Approximately 4000 B.C.)

o   Adam, Eve, and the Fall

-         Cain and Abel

o   Evil Fills the World


-         Noah Did All God Commanded Him

o   The Flood 2400 – 2300 B.C.)

o   God’s Covenant with Noah


-         Noah’s Sons and Ham’s Sin

-         Nations of Noah’s Sons

-         Tower of Babel

-         God calls Abram (2090 B.C.)

o   Abram and Lot part ways

o   Rescue of Lot

-         The Lord’s Covenant with Abram for Isaac




Genesis 15

“After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:


“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”


2 But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”


4 Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”


6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.


7 He also said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.”


8 But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?”


9 So the Lord said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.”


10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.


12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”


17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates— 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”


       I.         THE WORD OF THE LORD

a.      “Do not be afraid”

                                     i.      I don’t believe Abram was afraid because the Lord appeared to him


                                  ii.      Abram had spoken to the Lord before and wasn’t afraid


                               iii.      I believe Abram was afraid because of the battle he just fought and the fact he may be killed before the promise of God took place


                                iv.      God wanted to assure Abram it would come to pass just as the Lord had promised him



b.     “I am your shield”

                                     i.      God reassuring Abram he has the perfect defense against everything, God


                                  ii.      Romans 8:31b “…If God is for us, who can be against us?”


                               iii.      If we are on the side of the Lord, He will defend us. If the Lord says something will take place, we can rest assured, it will.



Mark 4:35-41

“That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”


39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.


40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”


41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”


The Lord said, “Let us go to the other side.”


End of story…If the Lord God says something will be, it will be.


No amount of opposition, storms, nothing will stop it from being. He speaks, it IS.


c.      Vs 16 “your reward will be very great”

                                        i.      After the Lord tells Abram not to be afraid, He promises that He is Abram’s shield, then He says, “Your reward will be very great”


                                     ii.      If the Lord says it, it will be!




a.      “But” Abram said

                                        i.      Abram could have just believed the Lord right then, however, being human as we are, we have doubts and fears, even when the Lord Himself reassures us.


                                     ii.      The Lord promises things, and we have trouble believing because we measure God by what we do know our experience with humankind.


                                  iii.      Psalm 146:3 don’t trust humankind, even princes.


                                   iv.      Especially as we approach the Last Days

1.      “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” – 2 Timothy 3:1-9


                                      v.      Abram says, “But, how can I know?”

1.      Because the Lord said! However, let Him reassure you more.



b.     Then the Word of the Lord came to him

                                        i.      Once Abram is “believed” the Lord “sees” Abram as “righteous”


c.      God said, Abram believed and seen as righteous

                                        i.      Now that Abram is righteous, the Lord gives him a command so Abram can be obedient and “seal the deal” with the Lord and His covenant with Abram.



                                     ii.      “Bring me a sacrifice” = COMMAND

                                  iii.      When Abram does = OBEDIENCE


                                   iv.      THEN, being righteous and obedient, the blessings from the Lord will flow




a.      This sacrifice allows Abram to be obedient & gives prophecy of the Cross

                                        i.      This all reveals the promise of the Lord, fulfillment by the Lord, and prophecy of the Cross


                                     ii.      The Lord instructs Abram to bring 5 sacrifices

1.      5 represents grace in scripture

2.      Heifer – symbolizes priestly office

3.      Goat – symbolizes prophetic office

4.      Ram – symbolizes kingly office (All 3 of these are Christ Jesus)

5.      Dove – symbolizes Jesus being led and guided by the Holy Spirit

6.      Young Pigeon – symbolizes Him obeying the Spirit in every capacity


                                  iii.      All of this foretelling of the Cross



b.     The fowls coming down on the carcasses represent demonic opposition to the Cross

                                        i.      Symbolic of the demons trying to prevent the work of the Cross, grace, and salvation through Christ Jesus


                                     ii.      However, just as Abram drove them away, we too, in the name of Jesus, can rebuke the demons and devils trying to end any work that God is doing in our lives or the lives of others.



c.      400 years

                                        i.      Then a deep sleep and dark horror fell upon Abram, which is also symbolic of the coming times for God’s people in Egypt where they would be enslaved, which in itself is symbolic of God’s people enslaved and in the bondage of sin.




Vs 14 “I will punish the nation” God speaking of Egypt & sin!


“and they (God’s people) will come out with great possessions.” Again, speaking of both the Israelites (Exodus 11:1-3) and in the End after Judgment Day!


The 400 years is between the weaning of Isaac and the deliverance of the Children of Israel from the bondage by Moses, who would be from the 4th generation mentioned by the Lord.


A mention of the Amorites touches on what we spoke about last week with God being patient, not wanting any to perish but all come to a knowledge of the Truth and receive Salvation. He does not judge immediately but is patient with us.

VS 17 “When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces.”


The sun setting and darkness falling represents the end and Judgment Day where the sacrifice (Jesus) exercises His complete authority and Judgment of all by the Word of God through what He achieved at the Cross.


There are many things happening here


The Lord setting Abram at ease about the promise, sealing the covenant with the Lord through a sacrifice, the sacrifice representing Christ and the Cross, the prophecy about the 400 years and the suffering to come in Egypt, which parallels the coming end times and Judgment Day, as well as setting the stage for our upcoming sermons…


Isaac, the promise of God!


p.s. Abram already gave mention of God’s promise to him being fulfilled by his servant.  This foreshadows his thinking and the fact that Abram believes man has to have a hand in helping God fulfill promises.


God promised Isaac, if Abram lives by the Spirit, the Spirit will provide.


If Abram thinks man has to “help” God, he is living by the flesh, and although he will have a child, it was not through the promise of the Spirit, but the actions of the flesh.


There will be consequences to not waiting on God to fulfill His promise in His timing.



Next week we will look at a covenant God makes with Abram and another teaching of the cross, salvation, and the prophecy of what is to come.


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