Love is in the air. Valentine’s day is Thursday.
God reserved His greatest love for His covenant people, Israel. It is an unconditional love.
“The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:8 But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 7:7-8)
What was the “oath” or covenant that God had sworn? That is what we will be looking at this week.
The Abrahamic covenant, God’s command to love the Lord, Israel’s rebellion, and God’s compassion, love, and restoration of Israel.
Abrahamic covenant (Genesis 12:1-3, 13:14-17, 15:7-12, 17)
“Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)
“And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.” (Genesis 13:14-17)
“And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.8 And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?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.10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.11 And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. 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.” (Genesis 15:7-12,17)
This covenant was an unconditional covenant.
A covenant is an agreement between two parties. In this case God and Abram. In those days a covenant was agreed in the ceremony described in Genesis 15:7-12, 17. Each party would walk between the divided animals, signifying agreement to the covenant.
However, in this case God had put Abram to sleep. God then walked through the divided animals, signifying that He was responsible to carry out all aspects of the agreement.
The agreement stated that Abram and his descendants would be a great nation, blessed, great name, God would bless them that blessed him and curse them that cursed him. He also agreed to give Abram and his descendants the land of Caanan and make his seed as the “…dust of the earth.”
So, follow with me this week and see if God has kept His covenant.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001