God had a plan and this is who He had His eye on the whole time:
Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the LORD’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. Deuteronomy 32:7-10
Almighty God loves all His Adamic children – He created them. But God has intimate knowledge and a special love relationship with Israel, as with no other. We are about to understand the exact reason ‘why’. Genesis chapter 12 is where it all began between Almighty God and an Adamite by the name of Abram.
From this point on we will focus on the verses that deal with our subject, The Abrahamic Covenant.
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: 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: 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. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. Genesis 12:1-4
In verse 2 God said: “And I will make of thee a great goy” – the Hebrew word which simply means “nation”. There was only Abram and his wife Sarai- they had no children. The LORD comes along and tells Abram, “I will make of thee a great nation”. The name Abram in Hebrew means father… yet Abram has never fathered a child. God not only tells him he’ll become a father, but out “of thee… I will make a great nation.”
Abram must have began thinking long and hard on all that the LORD said to him, especially making out of him “a great nation”. Then God appeared personally to Abram again:
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. And Abram said, LORD GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. Genesis 15:1-3
Abram is wanting to better understand God, since he and Sarai haven’t been able to bear any children together. A sincere Abram tries ‘helping God out’ by presenting his steward, as if to say, “Here’s Eliezer, he’s not my actual son, but he can still be my heir, right?”
Yet God informs Abram that only one of his own children can be the heir:
And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. Genesis 15:4
How much clearer can it be made by God Almighty? Abram thought he had it all figured out, but God doesn’t need our help. He informs him that Eliezer “shall not be thy heir, but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.” This was a genetic covenant that the LORD made with Abram. God wasn’t willing to settle for just anyone who lived in Abram’s house. He insisted the heir must come from Abram’s bowels, his loins; he had to be the physical, genetic offspring – the seed of Abram.
Later you’ll better understand the reason God didn’t allow Abram and Sarai to have any children at this point. That is so their descendants can look back and recognize this was totally a genetic covenant; that Abram’s heir must come from his own bowels, in order to be acceptable to God.
God clearly lays down His terms for this covenant with Abram.
There is no other place in Scripture where God made any similiar covenant with any other person, family, nation or people, anywhere in the world – only Abram. For the remainder of the Bible, all God is concerned with is Abram’s seed, Abram’s descendants through his son Isaac and grandson Jacob, no one else.
If God’s plan was about saving anybody and everybody in the world, we would not have this covenant God made with Abram and his seed. So if you want to be about the LORD’s business, strive to understand that this is the scope of His plan of salvation. That He chose to preserve Himself a pure Adamic branch, through Abram’s seed, to worship and serve Him, forever. For anyone to assume and teach otherwise is to teach something not found in the Word of God.
Missing this is one of the main reasons why there is so much confusion in what most call Christianity today.
The LORD told Abram, “This shall not be thine heir” for his heir had to “come forth out of (his) own bowels.” Notice, God wouldn’t even allow Abram (later described as “the Friend of God”) change His mind about this. What makes us think we can change it today? This is an exclusive covenant with one man- one family, whom the LORD selected out of all the other families in Genesis chapter 10. God’s plan never changes later on.
Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. Amos 3:1-2
Notice, this is only addressed to the “children of Israel” – that’s who God is speaking too, saying, “YOU ONLY HAVE I KNOWN OF ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH.”
Of all the families of the earth God Himself says the only one He has known, is Israel. Neither would God’s plan change, even after Christ was born: Matthew 1:21 clearly states, “And she (Mary) shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: For he shall…” – try and save everybody? No! “For he shall save HIS PEOPLE from THEIR sins.” In Matthew 15:24, Christ Himself proclaims “I am not sent BUT unto the lost SHEEP of the HOUSE (or family) OF ISRAEL.”
God is not making this up as He goes.
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 50:10
No matter how hard men try, we cannot change the scope of God’s plan. These are clear statements from God’s Word, and there are many more.
Let’s continue to see how God singled out Abram, making this covenant with him and therefore, his descendants after him – that is scope of His plan:
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. Genesis 15:5
God is telling Abram, “Your seed, your offspring, your descendants, shall be, like the stars in heaven.” Can we number the stars in heaven? No. Can we number the Jews? Absolutely.
What we see here is God telling Abram that his descendants will be INNUMERABLE.
Now remember, Abram and Sarai still have no children and they’re well into their 70’s (Abram, closer to 80). Doesn’t this seem ridiculous?! It was meant to, so that we would understand the importance of it being through Abram’s physical seed.
And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. Genesis 15:6
We hear so much on the amount of faith we need. Yet it wasn’t the quantity of Abram’s faith, but the quality of his faith that mattered to God. That is, it wasn’t just the amount of faith, it’s what Abram’s faith was in. What was his faith in? That even though in his old age he remained childless, out of his bowels, God would bring forth an innumerable, genetic multitude – understand, that is THE FAITH once delivered to the saints.
Again in verse 5, God said to him, “Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them… So shall thy seed be.” God makes His promises plain and clear. His promises were not based on something that would be adjusted later on by religious experts in order to fit their systems.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
Abram’s faith was in God bringing literal descendants forth from him.
Abram’s faith was for something physical. That from Abram’s bowels would be produced, an inummerable multitude of his physical descendants. These are the promises God made to one man, Abram and that’s what Abram’s faith was in. This describes the beginning of “the faith which was once delivered to the saints” in Jude 3. This is the quality of faith acceptable unto God, spoken of in Ephesians chapter 4: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.”
Therefore if you are an Israelite, Abram’s faith saw you, in light of God’s promise that a multitude of his descendants would come into physical existence one day and be as innumerable as the stars. That’s what God promised and that’s what Abraham believed. His faith was in this promise, even though at the very moment of his believing, his circumstances looked grim, having no child.
When you consider the nature of this covenant with its description thus far, no one can honestly suggest that others can somehow ‘magically’ become Abram’s seed.
His faith was in God for an innumerable multitude of actual, physical descendants of pure Adamite Israelites. Therefore, personal faith doesn’t make anyone a child of Abraham.
Our personal faith confirms that we are children of Abraham:
Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. Galatians 3:6-7
Here in Galatians 3:6-7, the Apostle Paul first quotes Genesis 15:16, “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness”. He then goes on to explain its meaning: “Know ye therefore that they which are of the faith, the same” can become the children of Abraham? No! “Know ye therefore that they which are of the faith, the same are the children of Abraham.”
Only Abraham’s seed (through Jacob) are “of the faith”.
Again, what was childless Abram’s faith in? That God would bring forth an innumerable offspring from his bowels. If one is not of that innumerable offspring that came from his bowels, they cannot be “of the faith” of Abraham or place their faith in Christ to the saving of the soul.
Paul goes on to say, “And if ye are Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” – the promise God made to Abram, the one Abram put his faith in. This is the faith Christ authored and finished as God in the flesh. We see God authoring it here with Abraham and then finishing it at the cross.
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. And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? 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. 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. And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away. And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. Genesis 15:7-12
Abram can’t move, he can’t even speak. All Abram can do is lay there, observing and listening. By the LORD imposing this deep sleep upon Abram, there is no possible way any of this can be dependant on Abram.
This oath, which was initiated by God, along with the ritual itself being performed by God is 100% dependant upon God alone to keep.
Abram has absolutely no part in it whatsoever, other than to witness the ritual and receive the promises God has made to him. This covenant is unconditional for Abram and his seed. God is totally bound to fulfill every aspect and detail of this covenant, without any help from Abraham or his seed, forever. Remember the verse in Ephesians chapter 2, “For by grace you are saved, through faith”? The word “grace” is unmerited favor.
Abram nor his descendants have anything to do with maintaining God’s favor where this covenant or oath is concerned. It is totally God’s obligation by His own personal design.
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; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. 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. 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: The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites. Genesis 15:13-21
God Almighty voluntarily bound Himself to this covenant with Abram, through an oath.
Once again, Abram had no part in this. All he did was witness it and he understood what it meant. Oaths were taken serious in the ancient world. What was conducted here was one such ritual, officiating an oath, and there are Mesopotamian inscriptions revealing this as a custom of the people at that time. Therefore God deliberately bound Himself by an oath to fufill all the details of the promises of this covenant. Abram has nothing to do with its execution – he and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob are only the recipients of its fulfillment.
Genesis chapter 15 then closes out, with the listing of those non-Adamic, Canaanite Nations.