Tuesday, October 31, 2017



Genesis 18:1-8 And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said. And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth. And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it. And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

Susie: Abraham was sitting at the entrance of his tent one day under some oak trees when three visitors appeared. He invited them to rest and share a meal which was an expected hospitality in the nomadic culture. It is not stated that he immediately knew them to be the Angel of the Lord (a theophany of Jesus) and two angels, but his behavior and the prophecy given suggest this to be the case. He had Sarah prepare bread and a servant prepare the tender juicy meat of a calf.

Susan: Abraham shared the best he had to offer with the three visitors.

Genesis 18:9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.

Susan: Because of modesty and dignity, Sarah had remained inside the tent instead of coming out among the men.

Susie: Her respect for her husband is demonstrated in her modesty.

1 Peter 3:6 (VOICE) Consider how Sarah, our mother, obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him “lord,” and you will be her daughters as long as you boldly do what is right without fear and without anxiety.

Susie: Note that Peter referred to Sarah as “our mother” recognizing her role as the matriarch of Israel. Isaiah recognized Sarah as the matriarch of the nation of Israel as well.

Isaiah 51:2 (KJV) Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.

Genesis 18:10-12 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

Susie: This heavenly visitor was reiterating what the Lord had already told Abraham. It is not clear whether or not Abraham had communicated to his wife God’s earlier promise to him that Sarah would bear a son. This may have been the first she heard of it while eavesdropping from the entrance of the tent.

Susan: God gave Sarah a specific date that Isaac would be born. He is not only sovereign over her barren womb but over the timing of the birth. We see this truth in the birth of Jesus as well:

Galatians 4:3-5 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Susan: As did Abraham before her, Sarah cracked up laughing at the prospect of two elderly people, way passed the age of reproduction, having a baby together.

Susie: It seemed absurd to her. They knew how things worked even though they did not study it in science/health class as we did.

Genesis 18:13-14 And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

Susie: The Lord asked Abraham why Sarah laughed but did not wait for Abraham to answer.

Susan: The Lord asked, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Then He let them know He would be back, and they would see the power of the Lord manifest in their old bodies, seemingly past the age of reproduction.

Susie: By the time He returned, Isaac would have been born.

Genesis 18:15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.

Susie: Sarah tried to deny the fact that she had laughed, but the Lord knows our hearts. He confirmed that she did laugh. We cannot hide our feelings from God.

Susan: God did not discount the covenant or punish them due to their laughter or the fact that they thought that becoming parents was utterly impossible. Sarah’s laughter, like Abraham’s before her, did not cause catastrophic repercussions.

Susie: The Lord called Sarah out for her laughter, but then reminded the two of them that nothing is impossible for Him. I wonder if they threw baby showers during that period in history? Probably not.

Susie: In Genesis 19-20, while Sarah is carrying Isaac, there are historical events recorded. After making the birth prediction to Abraham, the Lord breaks the news that He intends to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah where Abraham’s nephew Lot and his family reside. This is a great portion of scripture but not directly related to our story. Also during this time period, Abraham lies about Sarah again, saying she is his sister even while she is pregnant with his child! Once again, the Lord intervened and protected Sarah from becoming the wife or concubine of King Abimelech. We resume our study of Abraham in Genesis 21.

Genesis 21:1 And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.

Susie: Flash forward to the time the Lord had predicted, and Sarah did deliver Abraham’s baby as promised!

Susan: God reminds us that Abraham was over 100 years old, but think about poor Sarah! She had the hard part of carrying and delivering a baby at 90+ years old! Who got the better and easier end of this deal?

Susie: However, Sarah must have been delighted to finally hold her own baby in her arms. Abraham was extremely pleased to finally have a son by the wife of his youth. He finally had God’s chosen heir to receive all the Lord had given him in blessings as well as the promise of becoming a great nation.

Genesis 21:3-7 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.  And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age.

Susie: Abraham named his son Isaac meaning “He laughs” as the Lord had instructed him, and it is certain that many people joined Abraham and Sarah in celebration and laughter at the birth of this miraculously conceived and equally miraculously delivered baby.

Susan: God had given Abraham the command to circumcise all the males of his household as we studied in Genesis 17. Therefore, he circumcised Isaac when he was just eight days old in obedience to what the Lord had commanded as the sign of their covenant relationship.

Susie: God once again reminds the reader that Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. He drives home to us that nothing is impossible with God. Jesus taught this lesson to His disciples as well:

Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Susie: Here is where Sarah puts that positive spin on naming her child Isaac (he laughs). She says that God has caused her to laugh with joy, and that infectious laughter of a new mother with her babe in arms will spread to all who hear her story.

Susie: In Genesis 21, we find the account of the weaning of Isaac which could be anywhere from three to five years old. His half-brother made fun of him, and Sarah demanded that Abraham send away the handmaiden, Hagar, and her son Ishmael. Typically, the son of a concubine was guaranteed a position in the family even if a child was born to the father’s wife; but the son of the wife would inherit the lion’s share. Sarah was demanding that Abraham break this rule. However, God assured Abraham that Hagar and Ishmael would be protected and instructed him to do as Sarah bade him. God did indeed provide for Hagar and Ishmael, and the promise was fulfilled that Ishmael would also father princes and a great nation.


1.         What did Abraham do that would indicate he recognized the three men as being from heaven?
2.         Why was Sarah in the tent rather than outside greeting the guests?
3.         What was Sarah’s response to the prophecy of her pregnancy?
4.         What does the specific prediction of the time of the baby’s birth tell us about the Lord?
5.         How old were Abraham and Sarah when the promised son was born?
6.         What does the name Isaac mean and what are some possible reasons God told them to give him this name?
7.         What did Abraham do when Isaac was eight days old?

8.         Abraham sent Hagar and his son Ishmael away from their camp, into the desert. Who took care of them?

Sunday, October 29, 2017



Genesis 17:1-2 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.

Susie: Time passed. Abram was now ninety-nine years old, but God still promised to multiply him, in other words, to give him children.

Susan: God reminded Abram that He will exponentially increase his descendants.

Genesis 17:3-6 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

Susie: Abram’s response to the voice of God was to fall on his face, humbling himself before the all-powerful, all-seeing Lord.

Susan: Abram means “exalted father,” but Abraham means “father of a multitude.” God changed Abraham’s name to reflect his purpose. He would father the nation of Israel. Abraham is also considered the father of all who believe in Jesus, the members of the messianic community.

Susie: As we will see later in this chapter, Abraham would be the father of other nations besides Israel through his son, Ishmael. His descendants would include not only the kings of Israel, but the kings of these other nations as well.

Genesis 17:7-8 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

Susan: From God’s perspective, the nation of Israel is the rightful owner of the Holy Land. Even before they became a nation again in 1948, God still considered the region the possession of His people. He has given it to them forever. Anyone others who move in to take over that land are squatters.

Susie: In addition to confirming the promise of the land as their inheritance, God pledges to always be their God. He would be their protector and provider for generations to come. History shows that even when the nation of Israel rebelled against God’s leadership, a remnant always remained from which God would build them up again.

Susan: Many years later, Ruth, the Moabitess, married a Jew, converted to Judaism, and pledged to her mother-in-law, “Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” God included her in the lineage of the Messiah because of her faith.

Genesis 17:9-14 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.

Susie: God established the sign of His covenant with Abraham. Every male in his household, free or slave, native to his family or foreign living under his roof, was to be circumcised. There were already people groups that practiced circumcision, so Abraham would have understood what the Lord was demanding. All the males under Abraham’s leadership were to be circumcised immediately, and in the future all male babies would be circumcised on the eighth day of life.

Susan: For the babies, this would not be a problem because they would not remember it. However, for all those grown men—OUCH!

Susie: Remember that making this type of commitment was called “cutting covenant.” Earlier we talked about the cutting the animals in two pieces. Now, God is commanding that Abraham cut his own flesh and that of all his men as a sign of the covenant, a sign of being set apart to serve only the One True God. This was probably seen as a drastic measure by many of these grown men. Paul taught that Christian men were not required to undergo circumcision of the foreskin, but that there was an even more important circumcision required of all Christians:

 Romans 2:28-29 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Susan: Circumcision was an outward sign of an inward commitment. In much the same way, immersion baptism is an outward sign of the inward dying to self and living life committed to Jesus Christ, set apart for His purposes. It is an outward sign that God has given us a heart transplant, cutting out our hardened out and replacing it with a heart that is tender toward Him.

Susie: Any male who was not circumcised would be cut off, not considered a member of God’s chosen people. Mary and Joseph insured that Jesus would be obedient to this covenant:

Luke 2:21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Genesis 17:15 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.

Susan: Sarai’s name meant argumentative or quarrelsome, not exactly what I would want to be called. God changed her name to Sarah which means princess. Sar means “chieftain,’ so Sarah could be translated “chieftainess.” When God gives a new name, it is meant to reflect a new identity in Him.

Genesis 17:16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.

Susan: God renamed Sarah appropriately since she would be the mother of a son, and her lineage would be that of kings.

Susie: God promised to give Abraham a son specifically through Sarah.

Susan: Abraham was the father, the patriarch of God’s chosen people, and Sarah was equally the mother, the matriarch, of the nation of Israel.

Susie: Abraham would be the father, not only of the nation of Israel, but many other nations through Ishmael.

Genesis 17:17-18 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!

Susan: Abraham was the first to laugh at the Lord’s proposal.

Susie: In fact, he “fell upon his face,” ROFL (Rolling On the Floor Laughing). I’m trying to get a mental picture here of a 99-yr-old man falling on the floor in laughter. It’s not pretty.

Susan: What 99-yr-old man has the strength and flexibility to be down on the floor?

Susie: Well, we are not told how much difficulty he had in getting back up!

Susan: Abraham’s true feelings deep in his heart were not hidden from the Lord as he questioned how a hundred-year-old man and a ninety-year-old woman could possibly have a child.

Susie: Out loud, he asked the Lord to just consider making Ishmael the son to inherit all these blessings, but God’s plan was different than Abraham’s.

Genesis 17:19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

Susan: God let Abraham know that Sarah was His chosen woman to be the mother of His people. God Himself even named this child of promise. He named him Isaac which means “he laughs.” God could have been reminding Abraham that he laughed.

Susie: Later, Sarah would laugh as well, but we’ll see the positive spin she put on the name when the baby was actually born.

Genesis 17:20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.

Susie: God did not forget Abraham’s son by Hagar, nor his promise to her when she had fled from Sarah (Genesis 16:10-12). He promised that Ishmael would father a great nation and beget twelve princes. However, Ishmael was not the son of promise.

Genesis 17:21-22 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.

Susan: Now, God finally shares with Abraham His timeline for the promised child to be born.

Susie: The waiting period is nearly at an end. By the end of the next year, Sarah will have a son.

Genesis 17:23 And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him.

Susie: I think the fact that all these grown men submitted to circumcision as adults reflects on Abraham’s leadership. It could be a result of the fact that his special relationship with God was evident in his life.

Susan: Had I been a man in Abraham’s group, I might have asked him to go back and make sure he heard the Lord correctly. I might have protested that recovering from this procedure might slow down productivity for a few days.

Susie: The other thing I see here is that Abraham obeyed the command to seal the covenant with circumcision immediately, the very same day. He did not tell the Lord that he needed time to prepare everyone for this, let them get a little ahead in their work. Instead, he obeyed immediately and completely, and apparently without arguing or hesitation.

Genesis 17:24-27 And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son. And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him.

Susie: Abraham made sure all the men obeyed the Lord.

Susan: Abraham fulfilled this covenant from the top down, beginning with himself and his son Ishmael. He did not expect everyone else to be circumcised before he did it himself.


1.         How old was Abram when God changed his name to Abraham?
2.         What do the two names mean?
3.         What promise did God make to Abraham when he changed his name?
4.         What land was Abraham to possess?
5.         What sign did the Lord require of Abraham and of his future descendants?
6.         In what way are Christians “circumcised?” Explain what this means.
7.         How old was a baby to be when circumcised?
8.         Sarai was renamed Sarah. What are the meanings of the two names?
9.         How did Abraham react when the Lord told him Sarah would give birth at ninety years old?

10.    How soon did Abraham obey God’s instruction to circumcise every male?

Thursday, October 26, 2017



Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were the patriarchs of the nation of Israel. We will see that God promised to make Abraham’s descendants into a great nation. However, the Lord insisted that this promise would come specifically through a son born to Abraham and his wife Sarah, rather than through any other woman. That son was named Isaac. He was a “type” or foreshadowing of Jesus as God demanded him as a sacrifice. Details on that later. Isaac fathered twin boys, Esau and Jacob. The Lord chose to continue His chosen people though Jacob whom He later renamed “Israel.”  This family was the beginning of God’s chosen people, the Israelites, aka the Jews, through whom God would bless all nations.


We’ll start with a little background on Abraham to refresh our memories. Abram (who was later renamed Abraham) lived in Ur of the Chaldeans. His father, Terah, packed up their entire clan and headed toward Canaan. However, they parked in Haran. The Lord spoke to Abram and told him to leave his father’s house and move to a land that He would show him.

Genesis 12:1 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.

Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

When God told Abram to travel to points unknown, he was seventy-five years old and childless. Yet, God promised to make his descendants into a great nation! The Lord promised that ALL families of the earth would be blessed because of Abraham. As we study, we will see that Abraham was the patriarch of the Jewish nation, the ancestor of the Lord Jesus who was the ultimate fulfillment of this promise!

Amazingly, Abram packed up his wife and his entire household including his nephew and his wife and headed off not even knowing where God was leading them! Many adventures happened along the way, including a brief time in Egypt to avoid famine. While there, Abram lied and said Sarai was his sister because he was afraid someone would kill him to get his lovely wife (Genesis 12) Had God not intervened, Sarah would have become a part of Pharaoh’s harem! Abram gave his nephew, Lot, first choice of the land when they returned to Canaan because their herdsmen were getting into disputes, and they needed to separate. Lot moved near Sodom where the men were extremely evil. Abram was definitely not perfect, but the Lord chose to bless him and make a covenant with him. Even though Abram was already an elderly man, the Lord continued to promise him offspring. We’ll pick up the story shortly after Lot left.


Genesis 13:16 And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.

Susie: On a clear day, a person can see for miles. The Lord promised Abram he would own everything he could see in all four directions.

Susan: God promised the land would belong to Abram’s descendants forever. Israel has been conquered by hostile nations, and its people scattered, but a remnant always remained.

Susie: After the Babylonians took them captive for 70 years, they returned and rebuilt Jerusalem. In time, Jerusalem was conquered by Rome, and Israel was a province in the Roman empire, but God’s people remained. Jews have been scattered abroad throughout the centuries, but in 1948, Israel was once again declared an independent nation, and Abraham’s descendants returned home to possess the land once more.

Genesis 13:16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.

Susan: When God spoke these things to Abram, he was already fairly long in the tooth in human economy. However, according to God’s time-table, Abram was just a young whippersnapper.

Susie: And Abram’s wife Sarai was just a spring chicken as far as the Lord was concerned. Time continued, and Abram began to have doubts about how the Lord was going to accomplish His promise of multitudinous descendants.

Genesis 15:1 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.

Susie: Genesis 14 is a brief interlude in the saga of Abram becoming a father. His nephew Lot was captured, and Abram was empowered by the Lord to rescue him and his family. “After these things” is referring to that episode which is why God reminded Abram that He would be his shield, his protection, and was also his reward.

Genesis 15:2-3 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.

Susie: To Abram, it seemed he had given the Lord enough time to give him offspring. He had resigned himself to naming one of his loyal servants as his heir, but the Lord was not through with Abram yet.

Susan: Abram was very matter of fact with God. He explained to the Lord that for him to be the father of many, he would need at least one child; but so far, nothing.

Genesis 15:4-5 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. 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.

Susie: God replies to Abram and makes it clear, in no uncertain terms, that Eliezer would not be his heir. God tells Abram that he will physically father children even at his advanced age. Then God reiterated His promise of a tribe larger than Abram could ever imagine.

Susan: God has told Abram his descendants will be more than the dust and now more than the stars. Neither of these things can be counted except by the Creator who laid each grain of sand and scattered the stars throughout the heavens.

Genesis 15:6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Susie: Abram’s belief, his faith, is what made him right with God. This is recalled in the New Testament:

Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Genesis 15:7 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.

Susie: God reminded Abram that He had brought Abram to Canaan with the intention of giving him that land as an inheritance.

Genesis 15:8 And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?

Susan: Abram asks the Lord how he can be sure that what He says is true, that He will deliver what He has promised.

Genesis 15:9 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.

Susie: When God told Abram to collect certain animals, he understood that he was to divide them in half and lay them out with the halves on each side of a path. This method of “cutting covenant” was already a tradition among the people Abram descended from. A landowner would make an agreement with a vassal, a serf. They would each pass through the pieces symbolizing that if they broke the covenant, they should be slaughtered like these animals. Usually, the underling had the lion’s share of the promises to keep while the lord of the land only promised protection. However, we will see that our Lord God put a twist on this tradition.

Genesis 15:11-12 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.

Susan: Abram guarded the animal pieces until God gave him more specific direction. God caused Abram to go to sleep, and he had what we would term “night terrors.”

Genesis 15:13-16 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. Genesis 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.

Susan: God prophesies to Abram about the Egyptian captivity that His chosen people, Abram’s seed, his grandchildren, would endure.

Susie: God foretold that not only would He deliver them from Egypt but they would come out with the spoils which you may remember is exactly what happened in the Exodus account.

Genesis 15:17 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.

Susan: The only action required of Abram (the vassal) was to believe. God alone walked between the halves of the animals in the form of a smoking furnace and a burning lamp. Unlike men’s covenants, this one placed full responsibility on the Lord, the Master. In the New Covenant, rather than cutting sacrificial animals in half, Jesus’ own flesh was torn and His own blood poured out. The New Covenant put full responsibility on Jesus, and we are required only to believe.

Luke 22:19-20 And when He had taken bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”  And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup, which is poured out for you, is the new covenant [ratified] in My blood.

Susie: When Abram’s descendants were brought out of Egypt, God’s presence led them with a pillar of cloud (smoke) during the day, and a pillar of fire by night as their lamp.

Genesis 15:18 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.

Susie: God reiterated through this covenant that Abram’s seed, his descendants, would take over all the land described in these verses. By passing through the pieces, God was making a solemn promise that He would die rather than not fulfill this vow.

Susie: In Genesis chapter 16, Abram listens to his wife, Sarai, and tries to take matters into his own hands since they still have no children.  Sarai proposes they follow the custom of the day which was that Abram would have a child by her servant. This resulted in the birth of Ishmael when Abram was eighty-six years old.

Susan: Realizing they were both getting older, and impatient for God’s promise to become reality, Abram and Sarai decided to give God a little help, but God did not want or need their assistance.  God’s plan was that the promised nation would come from a child born to Abram and SARAI.


1.         What was God’s promise to Abram when He first told him leave his father and his country?
2.         Did God tell Abram exactly where he was going?
3.         Do you think you would just pack up and leave, not knowing where you would land?
4.         To what two things did God compare Abrams seed?
5.         What was the name of Abram’s wife?
6.         Who did Abram initially think would become his heir? (ch. 15)
7.         Why did God give Abram credit for righteousness?
8.         Why is it significant that God did not require Abram to walk between the pieces of animals in their covenant ceremony?
9.         What future event for the nation of Israel did God predict?
10.    How does the way God manifested His presence between the pieces compare to His presence during the Exodus?

11.    How did Abram and Sarai try to hurry things along in Genesis chapter 16?