Quiet Time Coaching Episode 278

Would you like to learn more about faith? You’ve come to the right person. No, not me, Abraham. This is a daily devotional podcast supporting a teaching series for the Watford church of Christ and the Thames Valley churches of Christ called “Adventures in faith with Abraham”. It is also part of my quiet time coaching series.

What is it about Abraham which is so admirable? Many things. But perhaps above all else his adventurous faith, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8 NIV11)

Join me as we step out on a faith adventure with Abraham.

Episode 21

Today we move further into chapter 15

“It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite.”” (Genesis 15:17–21 NAS95)

What are we seeing here? God cursing himself. I had better explain that!

The smoking oven and flaming torch remind us of the pillar of fire which accompanied Israel in the desert. Here the presence of God is moving between the slaughtered animals. The events recorded are taking elements from common covenant rituals of the time.

When a covenant was made it was said to be “cut”. The blood of an animal or animals was shed by cutting them. People making the covenant committed themselves to keeping the agreement at the expense of shedding their own blood. Sometimes as the covenant was spoken the person speaking held a knife to the throat symbolically saying to the other person, “If I break this covenant you have the right to cut to my throat.”

Devotional thought for today

We will see a further development of covenant in chapter 17. In that situation Abraham has something to do (circumcision). Here, he simply arranges the materials, and God is the actor. He is the one moving between the animal carcasses and, in a sense, calling a curse upon himself if he does not carry out his promises to Abraham.

What does this remind us of? Surely Jesus on the cross. One who allowed himself to be cursed so that we could be blessed.

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us — for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE” —” (Galatians 3:13 NAS95)

Prayer point for today

Ask God to fill you with gratitude at the cost he was prepared to pay so that we could be set free.

If you have any questions or feedback please contact me: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

The apostle Paul said of Abraham, “He is the father of us all.” (Romans 4:16 NIV11) Let’s allow him to be the father of Faith to you and me in January and February 2021.

Many thanks for listening today. See you tomorrow as we continue our adventure of faith with Abraham.

Take care and God bless, Malcolm