TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Genesis 15:13-21
Often, people think of grace as being somewhat exclusive to the New Covenant. Actually, however, grace is embedded in the Old Covenant, particularly in the Covenant of Promise God establishes with Abraham. So important is this covenant that Paul declares it to be superior to even the Law of Moses (Galatians 3:16-19). This truth would have been considered rather startling to Torah-bound Jews, and therefore it needs some careful unpacking.
In the pivotal moment of Bible history found in Genesis 15, God does an utterly amazing thing! The astonishing nature of this covenant moment is revealed in the “cutting” of the covenant. In Abraham’s day, the two covenant partners were to walk together between the pieces of dead animals, vividly indicating the consequences for the one who might break the agreement. However, in this passage, God walks alone between the dead animals while Abraham sleeps. God takes sole responsibility for ensuring that the ultimate focus of God’s promise, Jesus, would unquestionably be a future reality. Abraham’s great “seed,” Jesus, about whom the promise was ultimately made, would most certainly come (Galatians 3:16).
The Hebrews’ writer later expands on just how certain God’s promise would be. By promise and by oath, neither of which could be violated by the Lord, the redemption found in Christ was assured (Hebrews 6:13-18). A covenant made by God is the strongest basis for hope any person might obtain. In the Covenant of Promise, the most significant covenant prior to Jesus, God made the basis of our hope doubly sure!
Now, let us pause to pointedly reflect on the implications of this great covenant moment. The God of all creation so loves me and all those created in His image that He is willing to solidify His promise with a death oath. Our God reaches down to our humble estate in a manner so arresting we are left to marvel at His amazing grace. Covenant is an astounding word when we pause to consider how our Father obligates Himself to each of us through it (See Psalm 8:3-4).
Today, I will…give special attention to the incredible way in which God has declared His gracious love to me through a covenant and allow this to instill hope and thanksgiving in all I do.