The nation that came from Abram have known more than their share of dark times, but more of heaven’s glory light, too!
The second part of Genesis 15 is one of the strangest scenes in the Bible. As God and Abram discussed both the seed and the land promised, faith sprang up in Abram’s heart, “and he believed in the Lord” (v 6). But almost immediately, Abram asks, “Lord God, how shall I know that I will inherit it?” (v 8). Do you ever feel like this? I trust God—but how can I know? To remove all doubt, the God who promised now makes a blood-oath, a covenant with Abram. What is a covenant? The word covenant is formed from con, meaning “together,” and venio, meaning “I come.” It is a coming together of two parties in an agreement. God says, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon” (v 9). These were killed and the animals (though not the birds) were divided in two, forming a pathway between them. Abram had to chase away the vultures till sundown, when he fell into a deep sleep and, we read, a horror of great darkness fell on him. What did this mean? In a vision, he saw and understood. The next verse explains that Abram’s people, the Jewish nation, would pass through very dark times. But even in the furnace of affliction, the Lord, like a burning torch, would be with them. And so it has come to pass. Like the darkness in Egypt, or the fiery furnace in Babylon, or the great darkness at Calvary, the Lord has known their sorrows and come down to deliver them, although they have not always recognized it. And in one final time of Great Tribulation, soon to occur, He will again come to rescue them, and they will discover their Messiah as the Lamb slain to provide an eternal covenant with God—for everyone who, like Abram, believes His Word.