Journey Through The Scriptures

The Life of Abraham

Lesson 3: God’s Covenant with Abram

(Scripture to Read: Genesis 15:1–21)

In today’s study, we read of another very crucial experience in which God reaffirmed His promise to Abram, and confirmed it with a covenant. Abram had refused a reward from the king of Sodom for his role in rescuing Lot and many other people from marauders (Genesis 14:21–24), being content to wait on God for the fulfillment of His word.

God greatly honored Abram’s faith, assuring him that he had nothing to fear. Abram was puzzled over how the promise of many descendants would be fulfilled, since he was still childless. God responded by making a covenant (the Hebrew word means literally, “to cut”) with Abram that guaranteed him the land and countless offspring. This covenant was unconditional–that is, it did not depend on any human action but only the faithfulness of God.

Study Questions

  1. In light of Genesis 14:21-24, how did God’s promise to be Abram’s “shield” and “reward” help the patriarch not to be afraid for his future?
  2. Did Abram’s question to God in verses 2–3 reveal a lack of faith, or was his perplexity understandable given the circumstances?
  3. In verse 8, Abram asked God how he could know that he would someday possess the Promised Land. What did God do in answer to Abram’s question?
  4. What two very significant events in Israel’s future were revealed to Abram in Genesis 15:13–14?
  5. The Bible says “the Lord made a covenant with Abram” (v. 18). Why wasn’t Abram’s “signature” necessary to put the promise of this covenant into effect?

Something to Think About

Are you afraid today? God says to us again and again, "Do not be afraid." Take courage today in the knowledge that God will be your Protector and Provider.

The miracle of Israel’s rebirth in 1948, and her continued existence despite all attempts to annihilate her, should give all of us joy and confidence that God will never abandon His promises.