Tuesday, July 26, 2016

God’s Promise Reminders

Yesterday, we remembered that God promised never again to wipe out all of humanity with a flood.  When we look and see a rainbow, we are reminded of that promise.  God said that the rainbow will remind God as well.

Then the LORD took Abram outside and said to him, "Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That's how many descendants you will have!" And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith. (Genesis 15:5-6 NLT)

God made a promise to Abram that the Israelite children would have known to have come true.  They lived in a day where Abraham’s decedents numbered in the millions.  They only needed to wake up and look around in the morning.  God kept this promise.

After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of the Amorites do not yet warrant their destruction." After the sun went down and darkness fell, Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses. So the LORD made a covenant with Abram that day and said, "I have given this land to your descendants, all the way from the border of Egypt to the great Euphrates River--the land now occupied by the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites." (Genesis 15:16-21 NLT)

It seems like a strange image, but the smoking firepot and flaming torch have significance here.  When two leaders wanted to make a binding commitment, they would lay out the carcasses of dead animals in such a way as to create an aisle.  The leaders would walk through this aisle of dead carcasses and make their covenant, essentially saying, “May I be like these dead animals if I break my part of the agreement.”  The agreement made with Abram that day was from God.  God, however, did not walk through the aisle with Abram.  God walked through with God.  In other words, God was making the covenant commitment Himself.  Abram did not need to live up to any part on his end.  He would simply be receiving the blessing from God.

At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him, "This is My covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations! What's more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations. I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them! "I will confirm My covenant with you and your descendants after you, from generation to generation. This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you. And I will give the entire land of Canaan, where you now live as a foreigner, to you and your descendants. It will be their possession forever, and I will be their God." (Genesis 17:3-8 NLT)

When God made these commitments, Abram’s name was changed.  Abraham was his new name to remind him that he would be the “father of many nations.”  Once again, God provided a reminder of what God had promised.

What reminds you of God’s promises?  What are the promises?  Is it a blessing when you remember them?