promise given to Abram that his seed would inherit the Land and the
strangely powerful manner in which it was confirmed to him.
AIM: That we
might see Christ herein and the ordeal of the cross wherein salvation
was secured unto all believers for all time.
declaration of the Lord to Abram in the first verse should be enough
reassurance for any and all; yet Abram would press for additional
confirmation and we shall see that he received in a way not of his
1. Despite all that we know or see of God we often falter
in believing Him for the moment and give way to the need of additional
2. Abram had his weaknesses, and this was just such a
3. We will see this weakness manifested and the powerful
response from God that would impress him with that desire to seek a city
whose builder and maker is God.
THESIS: In being privileged to see such events as this we are
brought to see the depth and extent of the promises of God and are
ultimately shown the cross of Christ and made to realize that all
promises are confirmed in Him alone.
I. Abram’s question (vv.
1. Often, we see characters in the Bible and forget that they
were/are just like us and simply have the distinction of appearing in
the inspired Word of God.
2. Abram had followed and obeyed God to
this point and it had already been said that “he believed God and it was
counted to him for righteousness.” So, why this question.
Godly men have asked for signs to confirm visibly or experientially some
4. Perhaps, this needed to be added to the experience of
Abram so that he could give further detail and confirmation to his
5. It may have been a further confirmation that the
promised son was to come and that his interest was real – he wanted to
rest on it.
II. Abram’s task or preparation to be answered (vv.
1. This presents a different view than that which we typically
see but sacrifice and Christ are brought into the picture.
2. We have
no explanation as to the choice of the animals and the birds and leave
that to the secrets of God.
1) Many have suggested types and shadows
here beyond the obvious meaning of sacrifice
2) Many have speculated
as to the number three (the length of the Lord’s ministry, the Trinity,
the maturity of the animals, etc.).
3. The way they were displayed
suggests that symmetry was in view and that the pieces lay as a
4. Abram was again obedient and unquestioning as the Lord
God was being shown in power. And he was careful to protect that which
God had caused him to display.
III. Abram’s question answered
1. Abram was placed in a deep sleep as the sun was going
1) A horror of great darkness – we pause to note the depth of
what he was undergoing and try to imagine being left in the darkness of
our own helplessness and sin.
2) We are also transported to Calvary
and that which descended upon that scene – hidden from men with Christ
2. The things that were going to happen:
years determined upon his seed
2) They would be enslaved
afflicted for four generations
4) Judgment would come upon Egypt
3. Abram would live a life of relative peace and would see the promised
see and his sons.
4. The iniquity of the Amorites! The Land was taken
from them because of wickedness.
5. The Lord Himself confirmed the
covenant by passing between the pieces – The smoking furnace indicating
the powerful and horrible oppression and the burning lamp indicating the
Lord’s presence in seeing them through to deliverance.
6. We are
again reminded of the ordeal of our Savior on the cross as He endured
that journey through the required judgment for our sins.
Abram’s Land (vv. 18 -21)
1. The physical land is now both defined
and promised to the seed of Abraham. V. 18
2. The extent of the land
was given and the peoples occupying the land were named.