reconfirmation of the promise to Abram along with the assurance of the
divine interest in all he would do and the justification of Abram by
AIM: That we
might exercise the faith of Abraham in believing God in all that He has
promised and given us in Christ Jesus our Lord.
INTR: It was
after the rescue of Lot that the Word of the Lord appeared to Abram in a
vision with a reaffirmation of that which had been also confirmed by
1. This is the second of three instances of this
overarching promise of God that included the coming of the Lord Jesus
Christ to fully answer to his faith. See also, chapters 12 and 17.
Here we will note an essential undergirding of Abram’s faith in that the
Lord Himself would be the substance of all that was promised.
shall look then at the insertion of the Lord as the assurance to Abram;
we will further note the details of the promise; we will especially note
the effect on Abram; and, we shall note how God assures him that the
promise will be manifested.
Faith is given us as the essential means whereby we lay hold on
the righteousness of God as it is in Christ Jesus our Lord and by which
we appropriate justification.
I. The substance of assurance (v.
1. The fact is that Abram (humanly speaking) had many reasons to
1) He was in a land that was promised but not claimed yet.
2) He was amid idolaters and other evil men.
3) He was to be the
source of blessing to all families but had no child.
2. The Lord knew
of his fears and assured Abram that He personally stood between him and
the most fearsome of circumstances.
1) Often one’s protector will
place himself between the enemy that threatens – you will have to go
2) The Lord was promising the same to Abram and
note that to all who are secured by the will and purpose of God and are
trusting Him are witness to the fact that He stood between us and the
wrath of God.
3. Exceeding great reward:
1) We note that the
provision of Himself promises more than any earthly possession and
That it far above our ability to assess such value and that
Having Him, all else is provided. “I’d rather have Jesus…”
The details of what would come to pass (vv. 2-5)
1. Even so, Abram
resorted to doubt and questioning as he lamented having no child.
He wanted what God had promised and so to obey the Lord but
2) He was
locked into reasoning and human logic
3) His steward, the man in
charge of his household, was the heir apparent if Abram died childless.
4) How quickly the case for doubt presents itself.
2. A divine rebuke
was forthcoming in that the Lord had said that Abram would have a child
and that he would be the heir – he would be the biological father of the
3. Christ was already in view.
4. This was no hyperbole
when the Lord pointed him to the stars and dared him to count them
which, of course, he could not do.
1) God’s promises are big. He may
attend to the tiniest detail, but His ability knows no limits.
He promises big should we not pray big.
3) Sadly, clouds of doubt
hang over the big things we might ask of Him.
5. The challenge to the
faith of Abram would continue.
III. The effect on Abram (v. 6)
1. We have heard much about justification by faith and it is well that
1) There is much danger attending that which is commonly spoken
2) Faith is not meritorious – it is explained by some as that you can do
with a reward of salvation as a result.
2. Abram believed in the Lord
who makes men righteous and accepted.
1) It was not Abram’s faith or
belief in God; it was what He believed that saved.
2) The Lord
imputed (placed on our account) and imparted (a new nature whereby we
may practice that which is required) so making us accepted of Him.
IV. The Land to be given in time (vv. 7-21)
1. The strange scene
presented here was given that Abram might further understand that it
would be the Lord accomplishing His purpose in Abram.
2. The strange
way of confirming a covenant between men:
1) Ordinarily that
contracting parties would walk between the divided sacrifices
smoking furnace and the burning lamp were a manifestation of the Lord
assuring the covenant.
3. So, it is in all that is required of us.