Let’s ponder on some heavy thoughts today. God said to Abraham, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it” (Genesis 15:7). It is as though God was saying, “Listen carefully, Abraham. I’m not going back on this.” Abraham responded, O Lord God, how (literally, on what basis) may I know (yada, may I have the intimate knowledge) that I will possess it (the land)?”
God responded, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” One animal would have been sufficient. Abraham must have thought, “This is big.” 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. These clean animals produced a blood-splattered path through which the two covenant makers were to walk – hand in hand. When the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away (Gen. 15:9-11). Birds speak of a satanic attack. They represent the obstacles that Abram’s future family would face and the evil attempts to keep the fulfillment of the promise from happening: the slavery in Egypt, the evil influence of the pagan gods from Babylon, and the opposition from the various Arab groups. At the end of the day, these “vultures” will not prevent this covenant from being carried out.
As the sun was going down, the time when the two covenant makers were to join hands, God gave Abram a divine anesthetic. Abram fell into a deep sleep. Radam is the Hebrew word for natural sleep, but here the word used is tardema. It is the word used for a supernatural sleep. It is the same word used in Genesis 2:21 when the Lord put Adam to sleep and took one of his ribs. God completely took Adam out of the picture. He did the same with Abraham, removing any possibility of him being involved in the covenant-making process. It was as though Abraham had a nightmare. He saw a glimpse of future events, and he was terrified because his descendants were in for some rough times. God, speaking of his physical death, told Abram that he was going to go to his family in peace at a good old age.
Abraham never had to worry about two things: the perpetuation of his seed or his reception of the land. To confirm the covenant, God alone walked between the sacrifices. The smoking fire pot and the flaming torch were symbols of His presence (Genesis 15:17). How could Abram (and everyone who reads these words) absolutely know that the Jews would inherit the land? Because God alone walked through the sacrifice. How conclusive is that?
On that day, the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants, I have given this land.” The boundaries of the land are from the Nile River on the west to the great Euphrates River on the east (Genesis 15:18). This includes the Red Sea and all of the surrounding country. Someone said that the Red Sea is to become a Jewish lake. The eastern Sudan region includes Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and Palestine. That is a chunk of land.
The Jews have occupied most of it but never all of it. They will not actually inhabit this land in its entirety until the kingdom reign of Jesus Christ. When the Son of David– the King – returns, He will hold in His hands the title deed (Revelation 5:1). This real estate was occupied during Abraham’s day by other nomadic groups: the Kenites (a tribe of nomads living south of the Dead Sea), the Kenezzites (who occupied the land of Judah), the Kadmonites (who lived east of the Jordan, Transjordania), the Hittites (who dwelt in eastern Turkey), the Perizzites (Canaanite giants of the northern kingdom), the Rephaim (the giants east of the Jordan), the Amorites (who occupied Iraq through Syria and all the land in between), the Canaanites (those who lived in Judah), the Girgashites, (not sure of location) and the Jebusites. The Jebusites occupied the old city of Salem (Jerusalem), the city on the hill, and it was most likely the home of Melchizedek, the priest of the Most High God.
Abraham was familiar with those people. God has scattered the Jews all over the world (beginning in 70 A.D.). Amazingly, in 1948 they became a tiny nation again. Israel today is in open rebellion against the living God. Has God broken or pulled away from His promise to Abraham? Not at all. Someday God’s people will occupy this land. Someday it will be the center of a kingdom occupied by the physical and spiritual children of Abraham for a thousand years. Stay safe and stay tuned!