Relax and listen. Consciously prepare to hear God’s Word. Clear your mind of the worries and tasks that lie before you. Open your heart and allow it to refresh.
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18 (NRSV)
After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.” But the word of the LORD came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.” He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed the LORD; and the LORD reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Then he said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.” But he said, “O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” He brought him all these and cut them in two, laying each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a deep and terrifying darkness descended upon him.
When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates,
Take a moment to think about the covenant relationships you live within. What are the conditions of those covenants? In what ways do you live differently because you live within those covenants?
Genesis 15 tells the story of God’s covenant with Abram. The covenant was an agreement of a relationship. And notably, the covenant was initiated by God. God’s promise to be faithful preceded Abram’s response. Here in Genesis 15, God establishes his covenant with Abram, and if we were to continue reading, we would see that God’s faithfulness does not change – our human faithfulness should be a response to God’s promises, but even when we fail to be faithful, God remains steadfastly faithful.
God’s covenant is one of grace. How does that grace make a difference in your living?
Take a moment to recall or to look up the hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” As you listen to is or sing it to yourself, consider the reality of God’s unchanging faithfulness. And give thanks.
God, for the grace of your faithfulness we give you thanks. Guide us to live obediently as people in covenant relationship with you. Forgive us when we fail at being faithful. Amen.
Go with God!