Read: “After the sun went down and darkness fell, Abram saw a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses. So the Lord made a covenant with Abram that day…” Genesis 15:17-18
Contracts are serious business; you get this if you’ve ever purchased a home or a car. It seems like the paperwork is never-ending, and you’d sign a murder confession if they put it in front of you. Abraham might not have had a team of lawyers or custom letterhead, but when God made him a promise, it was just as official.
In Genesis 15, God appears to Abraham as a smoking firepot with a blazing torch and passes through Abraham’s sacrifice. A common ritual of that time, passing through a sacrifice in this way represented a colossal covenant - should the person fail to hold up their end of the bargain, they wished upon themselves the same fate as the slaughtered animals. Wow! What a pledge of God's faithfulness and love to Abraham.
The amazing thing is that generations later, it came time for another sacrifice – one that we owed but could not pay. While we deserved death, God sent His Son, Jesus – the ultimate sacrifice – to die on a cross in our place. He was slaughtered and torn. He paid the penalty for our sin. Darkness fell, lightning lit up the sky, and even though He knew we would never measure up, God entered into a new covenant with us. He forgave our debt and sacrificed His own Son in our place.
When we spend time with God in worship, in prayer or in reading His word, we reflect on that sacrifice and what it means for us today. His covenant is binding and sealed with love, and THAT'S a deal worth signing.
Do: Spend a few extra minutes in prayer. Thank God for Jesus’ sacrifice – for carrying our penalty and establishing a new covenant with you.