God Promises to Deliver Abraham’s People

Genesis 15:12-16a

12 As the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a terrifying darkness came down over him.

13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, where they will be oppressed as slaves for 400 years.

14 But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and in the end they will come away with great wealth.

15 (As for you, you will die in peace and be buried at a ripe old age.)

16 After four generations your descendants will return here to this land,

Now earlier in this chapter, Abram had spoken with God about his heir, or more accurately said…his lack thereof. God responded by assuring Abram that a servant would not be Abram’s heir, but a son from Abram’s own loins. Abram responded to God’s assurance with utter faith and because of that, God counted that faith as righteousness.

Now, the next several verses after that, Abram questions God again, but not about his heir…it’s about the land. Abram asks, “O Sovereign Lord, how can I be sure that I will actually possess it?” The Lord doesn’t respond by throwing up his hands in frustration like I would, but tells Abram to bring him a 3 year old heifer, a 3 year old female goat, a 3 year old ram, a turtledove and a young pigeon. Abram goes and grabs each one of them, brings them to the Lord and sacrifices the animals to the Lord, cutting them down the middle. However, vultures keep swooping down to try and eat the carcasses and Abram has to keep getting up to chase them off.

Apparently this is a very tiring workout because then, as the sun goes down, Abram fell into a deep sleep, but then notice what happens in this verse. It’s not what you would expect to find. See, I was expecting a great peace and calm to fall over Abram as the Lord speaks to him, but that’s not what happens. Rather, the exact opposite happens to Abram…A great HORROR falls upon him.

12 As the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a terrifying darkness came down over him.

See, before Abram could hear from God, he had to endure a great fright. Maybe it’s just me, but I like my life to be smooth sailing. I don’t like surprises to be around every bend and I definitely do not like to face terrifying situations. However, sometimes God asks that of us…and I need to realize that even though I might be facing a really scary situation that I can’t control, God is right there with me and He’s speaking to me if I but listen. I don’t know about you ladies, but when I get scared about things that happen in my life, I tend to get so absorbed in my fear that I don’t realize that God’s right there and He’s trying to speak to me…I just need to listen.

Who am I to think that I’m so special that I shouldn’t face darkness and fear? I have to be willing to walk through the scariest moments of my life to hear His voice and allow Him to speak to me.

 

Prayer for the day:

Give me strength to go through the darkness and patience to wait for Your voice. Help me to stop thinking I’m so special to not face hardship or endure fear.

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