There are many references to the number seven in the Bible. What is this significance of this number and what does it mean or represent in Scripture? Seven, the Template for Mankind
The number seven is a number of completeness, divine perfection or something that is finished, as in the creation week in Genesis one. Even though God spends six days in creating the earth, He could have done it all on one day but I believe God is giving a pattern for mankind to follow. That is, God is showing that since He worked six days, so should we. God rested on the seventh day, not that He was tired but as an example for us to follow. In fact, we are command to both work six days and to rest on the seventh as given in the Fourth Commandment in Exodus 34:21 “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.” Notice that God says “Six days you shall work” signifying that mankind is commanded to work for six days before being commanded to rest; therefore both work and rest are commanded and by His doing so, He gives us a pattern or an example of which we are to follow.
Creation and the designation for a week were both complete and finished in seven days which indicates that seven is a number of completion or a finished work. God’s use of the number seven elsewhere in Scripture frequently has meaning and purpose as we shall read later on. Other Significances in Seven No animal could be sacrificed until it was seven days old (Ex 22:30). There were seven “I AM’s” in the Gospel of John that Jesus used when He spoke of Himself. The Lord would discipline Israel up to sevenfold (up to seven times) if they refused
26:18). Jesus mentions seven woes (or judgments) on the unrepentant in Matthew 23. Jesus also
parables in Matthew 13. There were seven letters to the seven churches
Revelation (2, 3). There were also seven trumpets announcing judgments by God in the Book of Revelation (8). There were seven signs given in the Gospel of John. There were seven pairs of clean animals that were received into the Ark (Gen 7:2). Joshua and Israel marched around Jericho seven times while seven priests blew
before the walls came crashing down (Joshua 6:3-4). Elisha told the military commander Naaman to bathe in the Jordan River seven times and he would be healed of
5:10). There were
mentioned in Isaiah 11:2. There are seven things that the Lord hates mentioned in Proverbs 6:16. There were seven stems on the lampstand in the tabernacle (Ex 25:37). There were seven angels pouring out seven bowls of the wrath of God in the
(16:1). There are so many other references to the number seven that this article could go on and on but I believe you see the point. The number seven in the Bible represents divine perfection, totality or completion and is mentioned at least 490 times. God created mankind and beasts on the sixth day and so six is a number that represents mankind and also represents created things. Even the number 666 mentioned in the Bible where the number of the beast is also called the number of man (Rev 13:18) so just as six is symbolic or representative of mankind, and seven is symbolic of God’s work and just as six falls short of seven by one number, so man will always fall short of God’s standard (Rom 3:23). I urge you not to put too much stock in the significance of the number seven when you see it in the Bible because sometimes the number seven simply means the number of seven and it may have no special significance to it at all. This is even more so when we encounter the number seven in our everyday life. It is not a lucky number or the number of God. God is not tied to any created thing. He is sovereign over all things and all circumstances.
ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN..
THE 1/2+1/2 TRIBES OF ISRAEL, AKA 1/2+1/2 BULL, OX, CALF SYMBOLISM IN THE GENESIS 15 & EXODUS 12 Mazzaroth, Pleiades Golden calf)
IN GENESIS 15 WE READ OF THE RIGHTEOUS # OF STARS MARKING THE END TIMES PROPHECY OF ABRAHAMS STARSEEDS REVEALING, REVELATION
KEYWORD RIGHTEOUS #:
5:4 For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live:5:5 But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.5:6 Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.5:7 Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth,5:8 Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name: Amos
AMOS 5:”7″ (the RIGHTEOUS #!!! 7!!)
AMOS 5:7 Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth,
5:8 Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:
(Waters poured out? Lords name? We are called by thy name! To take away reprooach..we are wearing our Pleiadian starseed stuff)
ISAIAH 4:1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.
(PLEIADES, TAURUS=bull, 7 stars)
(ORION, 1 man, 1 cloud)
4:2 In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.
4:3 And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:
4:4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.
4:5 And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence.
4:6 And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.
WHO ISTHE FALSE PROPHET WHO RENTS THEIR CLOTHES?
ACTS 14:11-13 (Spokesman for Christian religion=opposite what we stand for.. we are prophesying original truth, 7)
THE HOSTS AKA ANGELS AKA PLEIADIANS:
GENESIS 15: 1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
15:3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
15:5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
15:9 And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.
15:13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years.
15:17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.
15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates. Genesis
GOD'”HAND”- maidens (7 = righteous # stars chosen by Abraham)
PSALMS 19: 1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
19:2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
19:3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.19:4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
19:5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. Psalms
ISAIAH 4:1-2 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.
4:2 In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. Isaiah
14:11 And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.
14:12 And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.
14:13 Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.
TAURUS=7 STARS, BULL, CALF, PLEIADES
14:14 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, Acts
PAUL AKA SAUL AKA MERCURY/ BARNABUS AKA JUPITER RENT THEIR CLOTHES? WE WEAR OUR 7 STARSEED PLIEADIAN ATTIRE
WE REMEMBER THE MOST ANCIENT OF TIMES, AS WE KNOW WE ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD (John 17: Jesus reveals we are not of this material flesh world) WE ARE PLEIADIAN STAR STUFF, LIGHT/JIGHER SPIRITUAL CONSCIOUSNESS BIRTHED THROUGH THE ORION EMISSION NEBULA, NOW FULFILLING PROPHECY OF OUR RETURN, AS WE ARE THE RIGHTEOUS NUMBER 7 STARSTUFF OF ABRAM, AKA ABRAHAMS LOINS (GENESIS 15)
(GENESIS 15: Taurus, calf symbol= 7 STARS/PLEIADES) we remember the most ancient of times, kbowing where we come from.
ISAIAH 46: 1 Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: your carriages were heavy loaden; they are a burden to the weary beast.
46:2 They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity.
46:3 Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb:
46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Isaiah
REVELATION 2:17 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. Revelation
REVELATION 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. Revelation
Do you find it ironic..
The animals around the world instinctively “metaphorically” found their way to the huge ship, “ARC”, in order to save themselves, while humans have no clue what the ARC is, whether it exists or where it is if it does. I guess sheeple await the giant b book or material man giant to shake em and wake em up. While Acts 2:17-21 clearly says your own sons and daughters are prophesying, attempting to guide those ego driven, dogma led zombies to a literal heavenly unseen dimension higher than this primitive illusion realm of material 3D. We needed that prayer found in John 17 because we are Abrahams starseeds who know the original truth. We are the decoding messengers of MATTHEW 13 (Seeds of the sower)
REVELATION 4:3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. Revelation
1:1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.1:4 And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.1:5 Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.1:7 And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass.1:8 And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings.1:10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.1:13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.1:14 And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.1:15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.1:16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.1:17 When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went.1:18 As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.1:19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.1:20 Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.1:21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.1:22 And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.1:23 And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other: every one had two, which covered on this side, and every one had two, which covered on that side, their bodies.1:24 And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings.1:25 And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings.1:26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.1:27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.1:28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake. Ezekiel
2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.2:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.2:6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.2:7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?2:8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?2:11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.2:12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?2:13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:2:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:2:19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.2:25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:2:26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.2:28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.2:32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,2:35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.2:43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;2:45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. Acts
Genesis 15 – God Confirms the Covenant with Abram
A. God speaks to Abram’s fears and doubts with a promise.
1. (1) The word of the LORD comes to Abram in a vision.
After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
a. After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram: The word of the LORD came to people in the Bible in many different ways. It might come by a personal appearance of God, by an audible voice, by visions or dreams, by the ministry of angels, by the working of the Spirit of God upon the mind, by the making alive of a passage of Scripture to the heart, or by the ministry of a prophet or preacher.
b. Do not be afraid…I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward: There was a good reason why God said this; Abram had just defeated a much larger army from a confederation of five kings. He had reason to be afraid because an attack of retribution was to be expected.
c. Your shield…your reward: Abram needed a shield because he expected to be attacked. He needed reward because he had denied himself great reward offered from the king of Sodom.
i. God told Abram that though he had sacrificed for His sake, he would not be the loser for it. God would more than make up what Abram gave unto the LORD.
ii. God knows how to become the answer to our need. When we need a shield or a reward, He becomes those things for us.
d. Do not be afraid: God told Abram this because he was afraid, and afraid for good reasons. Yet God also gave him a reason to put away his fear. God never tells us do not be afraid without giving us a reason to put away our fear.
2. (2-3) Abram honestly expresses his doubts.
But Abram said, “Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!”
a. Lord GOD, what will You give me: Though certainly Abram appreciated the promise from God, at the same time, there was perhaps a sense in which it sounded empty to Abram. It was as if Abram said, “What good is it that You are my shield and reward? The only thing I’ve ever wanted with any passion in my life is a son! Where are the descendants You promised me?”
i. It is almost as if Abram meant, “LORD, You’ve given me lots of stuff, and now promise to give me more, and to protect me. But what good is it if I don’t have a descendant to give it to? I want the son You promised me!”
ii. Eliezer of Damascus was Abram’s chief assistant, his right-hand man. He was a good man, but not a son to Abram.
b. Look, You have given me no offspring: Abram’s bold honesty before the LORD is a wonderful example. Instead of holding in his frustration, he brought it before God with an honest heart.
c. No offspring: To some degree, this question doubted God. Yet we can discern the difference between a doubt that denies God’s promise and a doubt that desires God’s promise. Abram wanted to believe and looked to God to strengthen his faith.
3. (4-5) God speaks to Abram’s doubts with a promise.
And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”
a. This one shall not be your heir: God reminded Abram of the promise originally recorded in Genesis 12:2 and 13:15-16. God did this because He knows how much we need to be reminded.
b. One who will come from your own body shall be your heir: God often states a promise with such certainty that we believe it will be fulfilled right away, but the fulfillment of this promise was still 15 years away.
i. No wonder the writer to the Hebrews says: And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Hebrews 6:11-12)
c. From your own body: God explained exactly what He meant in His promise to Abram. He meant that it wasn’t a spiritual descendant who would inherit the promise (such as Eliezer), but an actual flesh-and-blood descendant. This was necessary, because we sometimes misunderstand God’s promises.
d. Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them: God not only told Abram the promise again, but He confirmed it with an illustration: the stars in the sky showed how vast the number of Abram’s descendants would be.
i. One of those descendants – the greatest of his descendants – would be the Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 22:16).
4. (6) Abram’s response of faith to God’s promise.
And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
a. And he believed in the LORD: When Abram put his trust in God, specifically in God’s promise to him (descendants leading to the Messiah), God credited this belief to Abram’s account as righteousness.
i. There are essentially two types of righteousness: righteousness we accomplish by our own efforts, and righteousness accounted to us by the work of God when we believe.
ii. Since none of us can be good enough to accomplish perfect righteousness, we must have God’s righteousness accounted to us by doing just what Abram did: he believed in the LORD.
iii. God’s accounting is not pretending. God does not account to us a pretended righteousness, but a real one in Jesus Christ.
b. And He accounted it to him for righteousness: This is one of the clearest expressions in the Bible of the truth of salvation by grace, through faith. This is the first time believe is used in the Bible and the first time righteousness is used in the Bible. This is the gospel in the Old Testament, quoted four times in the New Testament.
i. What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” (Romans 4:1-3)
ii. Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. (Romans 4:9-10)
iii. And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead (Romans 4:19-24).
iv. Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?; just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. (Galatians 3:5-7)
c. He accounted it to him for righteousness: Romans 4:9-10 makes much of the fact this righteousness was accounted to Abram before he was circumcised (Genesis 17). No one could say Abram was made righteous because of his obedience or fulfillment of religious law or ritual. It was faith and faith alone that caused God to account Abram as righteous.
i. “When the article of justification has fallen, everything has fallen…This is the chief article from which all other doctrines have flowed…It alone begets, nourishes, builds, preserves, and defends the church of God; and without it the church of God cannot exist for one hour.” (Luther, cited in Boice)
d. He believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness: The faith that made Abram righteous wasn’t so much believing in God (as we usually speak of believing in God), as it was believing God. Those who only believe in God (in the sense of believing He exists) are merely on the same level as demons (James 2:19).
B. God speaks to Abram’s doubt with a covenant.
1. (7-8) Abram’s doubts surface again.
Then He said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it.” And he said, “Lord GOD, how shall I know that I will inherit it?”
a. Then He said to him: We don’t know if the events beginning with Genesis 15:7 followed close upon what happened in Genesis 15:1-6; the flow of the text seems to indicate they did.
b. I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it: This was a dramatic, clear promise from God. The power and clarity of it make us somewhat surprised by the answer of Abram: Lord GOD, how shall I know that I will inherit it? Abram boldly asked God for proof of the promise.
i. Though God had just account Abram as righteous, Abram could still demonstrate some degree of doubt, as indicated by his question, “How shall I know that I will inherit it?” Abram experienced what many of those who are accounted righteous do. It was as if he said, “I believe when I hear God say it, but five minutes later, I’m not sure – please prove it to me.”
ii. Remember, Abram had no title deed to the land, nothing to make anyone else believe he actually owned the land. All he had was the promise of God.
2. (9-11) Abram prepares to make a covenant with God.
So He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
a. A three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon: This reads more like a shopping list for a witch doctor than something the LORD would ask for. Yet Abram understood perfectly what God asked him to prepare for.
b. Cut them in two … and placed each piece opposite the other: Abram knew exactly what to do with these animals; he understood that according to the custom of his day, God told him to get a contract ready for signing.
i. In those days, contracts were made by the sacrificial cutting of animals, with the split carcasses of the animals lying on the ground. Then both parties to the covenant walked through the animal parts together, repeating the terms of the covenant. The LORD made a covenant in Genesis 15:18 is literally, “the LORD cut a covenant.”
ii. Jeremiah 34:18-20 makes reference to this same practice of a covenant made by cutting animals and repeating the oath of the covenant as one walks through the animal parts.
iii. The symbolism was plain. First, this is a covenant so serious it is sealed with blood. Second, if I break this covenant, let this same bloodshed be poured out on my animals and me.
iv. When Abram had his doubts and wanted assurance from the LORD, God said to him plainly, “Let’s sign a contract and settle this once for all.”
c. And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away: As Abram waited for the LORD to appear and walk through the carcasses with him (to sign the covenant), God didn’t come right away. He had to wait and fight off the vultures until God did something with this covenant ceremony.
i. Abram had reason to expect that God would come down and walk through the animal parts with him, because God had previously appeared to him (Genesis 12:7).
3. (12-16) Prologue to the covenant.
Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
a. Now when the sun was going down: At the end of the day, God had not yet come to walk through the animal parts with Abram. Instead, God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Abram. Apparently, at least part of what followed came to Abram in a dream while he was under this deep sleep.
b. Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them: Abram wanted concrete proof from God, and God would soon sign the covenant. Yet, Abram needed to know he would have land and descendants, but all would not go well with them in the future. This was a dreadful aspect to an amazing promise.
i. After God told him some of the hardship that would befall his descendants, Abram might have said, “If that is what is going to happen, I don’t want any children.” This was a complicated blessing.
c. They will afflict them four hundred years: Specifically, God told Abram of the slavery and hardship Israel would endure in Egypt (Exodus 1:1-14). Yet they would, after four generations, come back into the Promised Land, and come with great possessions.
4. (17-21) The covenant is made.
And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates; the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”
a. When the sun went down and it was dark: As Abram was either asleep or perhaps still groggy from the deep sleep, he saw God do an amazing thing – pass through the animal parts all by Himself, while Abram watched on the sidelines.
b. A smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces: In the walking through the sacrificed animals in the covenant ceremony, God represented Himself by two emblems – a smoking oven and a burning torch.
i. The smoking oven reminds us of the pillar of cloud representing the presence of God (Exodus 13:21-22), the smoke on Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:18), and the cloud of God’s Shekinah glory (1 Kings 8:10-12).
ii. The burning torch reminds us of the pillar of fire representing the presence of God (Exodus 13:21-22), of the burning bush displaying the presence of God before Moses (Exodus 3:4), and of the fire from heaven that sometimes consumed sacrifices God was well pleased with (1 Kings 18:38, 1 Chronicles 21:26, 2 Chronicles 7:1).
c. On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram: God, represented by the smoking oven and the burning torch, passed through the animal parts by Himself; as Abram watched, God showed this was a unilateral covenant. Abram never signed the covenant, because passively watched while God signed it for both of them in the ritual.
i. Therefore, the certainty of the covenant God made with Abram is based on who God is, not on who Abram is or what Abram would do. This covenant could not fail, because God cannot fail.
ii. In a sense, the Father walked through the broken and bloody body of Jesus to establish His covenant with us, and God signed it for both of us. We merely enter into the covenant by faith; we don’t make the covenant with God.
d. The LORD made a covenant with Abram: By entering into this contract, there is a sense in which God said, “If I don’t keep My word, let Me be put asunder.” God put His Deity on the line as a confirmation of His oath to Abram.
i. This covenant God signed alone; Abram did not haggle with God over the terms. God established and Abram accepted. Abram could not break a contract he has never signed!
ii. “A Divine covenant is not a mutual agreement on equal terms between two parties, but a Divine promise assured.” (Maclaren)
e. I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates: By quoting the specific lands Abram’s descendants would inherit, God made it plain this is not a figurative spiritual promise. It was real, and through this promise, Israel would inherit real land.
i. “For a very brief time, under Solomon (1 Kings 8:65) and possibly again under Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:25), the children of Israel ruled all this territory, as a token of the final and permanent possession they will have in the future.” (Morris)
©2013 David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission