Abram is lamenting that he has no descendants when God came to him in a vision and promised that, despite his already advanced years, he will have offspring as numerous as the stars.
To seal this promise, the Lord leads Abram to confirm it with a blood offering. This was a binding covenant between two parties, where the animal would be cut in two and both parties would walk between the pieces of the carcass, signifying that if they violated the covenant, “may the same be done to me as was done to this animal.” It was a solemn vow with serious consequences.
But in Abram’s case, God put him into a deep sleep. Abram didn’t walk between the severed animals, only God did, because God was covenanting to fulfill both sides of the agreement. He would provide the offspring and He would bring them into the land. He would make Abram a great nation not because of anything Abram did, but because of God’s grace and sovereignty.
God also gave Abram a glimpse of his family’s future. For four hundred years they would live as foreigners in a land not their own and would be subjected to slavery in Egypt, but God would rescue them and bring them back to this land. Remember that this was written for the Israelites as they were experiencing that very deliverance. Moses penned this history under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit from the oral traditions that had been passed from generation to generation for all those four hundred years.
There are two promises that God has given me so far during my life that I know without a doubt came from Him and have been fulfilled by Him. When life is difficult and things seem hopeless, I think of those promises and trust that God’s plans always come to pass…though not always on my timetable.
What promises has God given you during your walk with Him? How have you seen them fulfilled? What if you knew they would be fulfilled, but not in your lifetime?