Dave Burnette's Commentary

Genesis Chapter 15

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1450-1410 BC)
Overview: To Record God's Creation and Identify His Plan (c 1-22)
Theme: The Story of Abraham (c 12-25)
Message: God Promises a Son to Abraham (v 1-21)

Genesis 15 Commentary

(15:1-4) Abram Questions God on His Bloodline -  Abram Feared who should be his heir Eliezer was Abram's most trusted servant, acting as household administrator. According to custom, if Abram were to die without a son, this eldest servant would become his heir.
Although Abram loved his servant, he wanted a son to carny on the family line. He had not seen God's promise fulfilled, so he thought this the only possibility. God can do pore than we can imagine.

(15:5) God Promises Abram Descendants - Abram wasn't promised wealth or fame here; he already had that. Instead, God promised him descendants like the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the seashore (22:17)--too numerous to count. To appreciate the vast number of stars scattered through the sky, you need to be, like Abram, away from any interfering lights or buildings. Or pick up a handful of sand and try to count the grains-it can't be done! Just when Abram was despairing of ever having an heir, God promised him descendants too numerous to imagine. God's blessings are beyond our imaginations!

(15;6) Abram Believes God -  Although Abram had been demonstrating his faith through his actions, it was his belief in the Lord, not his actions, that made Abram right with God (Romans 4:1-5). We, too, can have a right relationship with God by trusting him. Our outward actions--church attendance, prayer, acts of service--will not by themselves make us right with God. A right relationship is based on faith-the heartfelt inner confidence that God is who he says he is and does what he says he will do. Right actions will follow naturally as by-products.

(15:8) Abram Looks for Confirmation -  Abram was looking for confirmation and assurance that God would deliver on his promise. We also want assurance of God's promises when we ask for help. Abram didn't have the Bible- -but we do. We must rest in the fact that all God's past promises have come true, and so there is no reason to believe his future promises won't come true as well. God's past track record motivates us to trust in his absolute moral character and believe that he will keep his promises and do what is best for us in the future.

(15:16) The Amorites are Introduced -  The Amorites were one of the nations living in Canaan, the land God promised Abram. God knew the people would grow more wicked and would someday need to be punished. Part of that punishment would involve taking away their land and giving it to Abram's descendants. God, in his merey, was giving the Amorites plenty of time to repent, but he already knew they would not. At the right time, they would have to be punished. Everything God does is true to his character. He is merciful, knows all, and acts justly--and his timing is perfect.

(15:17) God sends a strange vision to Abram - God's covenant with Abram was serious business. It represented an incredible promise from God and a huge responsibility for Abram. To confirm his promise, God gave Abram a sign--a smoking furnace and a burning lamp. The fire and smoke suggest God's holiness, his zeal for righteousness, and his judgment on all the nations. God took the initiative, gave the confirmation, and followed through on his promises. God's passing through the pieces was a visible assurance to Abram that the covenant God had made was real

Dave Burnette's Life Application

God Keeps His Promises

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. There are many applications we can make from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Genesis with Chapter 15, and in today's text, we see God promising a son to Abram, with the chapter starting with the Lord telling Abram to Fear not. What catches my eye is why Abram was afraid. He just won a victory freeing Lot, and you think He would be full of joy and confidence. Maybe Abram feared revenge from the kings he had just defeated. Regardless of why he was fearful, the Lord encouraged him, showing that He cared for Abram with a couple of promises. One to defend Abram, "I am thy Shield," and secondly to bless him, saying He would give Abram an "exceeding great reward." In making a personal application, I see how I have doubted God, even amid victories in my life, even to the point of complaining and murmuring when I don't see things fitting into my time frame. It takes a measure of faith to believe God's promises through His Word, the Bible. Just as Abram took God at his Word and moved forward, so should all of us. If God says He will meet my needs, I should trust Him and walk in that trust. How about you? Do you have faith even when you don't see the finish line? Let us learn from our text today, and as Abram trusted the Lord, we, too, should Have faith that God will keep His Promises.


Genesis 15

Genesis 15

 1After 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.

 2And Abram said, LORD God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?

 3And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

 4And, 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.

 5And 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.

 6And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

 7And 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.

 8And he said, LORD God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?

 9And 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.

 10And 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.

 11And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.

 12And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.

 13And 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;

 14And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

 15And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.

 16But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

 17And 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.

 18In 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:

 19The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,

 20And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,

 21And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.