The Covenant With Abraham
Abraham’s part. Genesis 15.
- Abram shared his doubts about the promised seed when he met with God again
(Genesis 15:2). God assured him that his son would be his heir. Abram believed Him (Romans 4:20-22).
- Then, the covenant was confirmed (Genesis 15:9-18):
- Animals were sacrificed (v. 9-10) => Christ died for our sins.
- Vultures fly around (v.11) => Israel was enslaved (v. 13).
- A burning torch (v. 17) => God commited to fulfill His promises.
- The boundaries of the promised land are set (v. 18) => Getting back to Eden.
Sarah’s contribution. Genesis 16.
- After waiting for 10 years, Sarai lost all hope of being the mother of the seed. She proposed an alternative: a surrogate mother. Looks like reason won over faith…
- Sarai doubted and acted against God’s will, as Eve did. Abram compromised and followed her, as Adam did.
- However, God always shows His love, even when we make bad decisions. He promised protection to Hagar and Ishmael (Genesis 16:10-12).
The sign of the covenant. Genesis 17.
- Moses, Jeremiah, and Paul understood this sign [circumcision] as something more than a physical act (Deuteronomy 10:16; 30:6; Jeremiah 4:4; Romans 2:28-29).
- The covenant goes beyond the physical descendants of Abraham. It’s about the work of the Seed, the Messiah. The sacrifice of Jesus brings eternal life to all those who accept it by faith.
- Names were changed to reflect this promise:
- Abram [“exalted father”] => Abraham [“father of many nations”].
- Sarai [“my princess”] => Sarah [“the princess” for everyone].
The confirmation of the promise. Genesis 18:1-15.
- Abraham was perplexed. Sarah was 90 years old; how could she bear a child? Abraham laughed (Genesis 17:17).
- God decided to speak about this with them. He came before Abraham in human form, along with two angels (Genesis 18:1-2).
- Abraham was hospitable, so he was eager to take care of the travelers (Hebrews 13:2).
- God Himself talked about the promise, and Sarah heard Him. Sarah also laughed
- God’s promise was sure, and Sarah believed (Hebrews 11:11). Eventually, God also laughed with the son of faith (Isaac means “he will laugh”).
The intercession of Abraham. Genesis 18:16-19:29.
- The angels left for Sodom. God stayed speaking with Abraham (Genesis 18:22). Abraham interceded for Sodom. He negotiated the minimum number of righteous people in Sodom for God to forgive the city (Genesis 18:23-32).
- Only 4 people were saved (and only 3 survived). Not even five righteous people were found.
- The destruction of Sodom is a symbol of the eventual destruction of the wicked (Jude 7).