Genesis 15: God’s Agreement with Abram

Why did God say Abram had no reason to fear?

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Genesis 15:1 After this, the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision. “Do not fear, Abram, for I am your protector and great reward.”
King James
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.

What difficulties did Abram face in believing God’s promise?

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Genesis 15:2–4 “Lord God,” Abram said, “what good is your promised blessing when I don’t even have a son? Is Eliezer of Damascus to inherit everything when I die? Since you have given me no child of my own, this servant born in my household will have to be my heir.”
“This man will not be your heir,” the Lord said. “You will have a son of your own, and he will be your heir.”
King James
Genesis 15:2–4 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. 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.

Did Abram see the night sky in his vision, or was he taken to see the night sky? Why?

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Genesis 15:5 God took Abram outside to look at the night sky. “Can you count the stars? If you are able to number the stars, you can know how numerous your descendants will be.”
King James
Genesis 15:5 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.

What reasons did Abram have to believe God?

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Genesis 15:5–6 God took Abram outside to look at the night sky. “Can you count the stars? If you are able to number the stars, you can know how numerous your descendants will be.”
Abraham believed God, and his faith was recognized as righteousness.
King James
Genesis 15:5–6And 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. And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Why did God identify himself as the one who brought Abram out of Ur?

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Genesis 15:7 God said, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.”
King James
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.

If Abram believed God, why did he need proof?

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Genesis 15:8 “Lord God,” Abram said, “how can I be sure this land will be mine?”
King James
Genesis 15:8 And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?

Why did God ask for the sacrifice?

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Genesis 15:9–11 God said, “Bring me a dove, a young pigeon, and a three-year-old heifer, ram, and female goat.”
Abram laid the dove and pigeon on the altar. He split the animals and laid the halves opposite each other. When vultures descended upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
1 Samuel 15:22 But Samuel said, “Does God take pleasure in sacrifices and burnt offerings as much as obeying his voice? Listen, obedience is better than sacrifice. To say yes is more important than offering the fat of sheep.”
Psalm 40:6 You weren’t after my sacrifices and offerings. You wanted me to hear and follow you, so burnt offerings and sin offerings weren’t the requirement.
King James
Genesis 15:9–11 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. And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.
1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
Psalm 40:6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

In what way might the darkness that fell upon Abram be viewed as “terrifying”?

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Genesis 15:12 At sunset, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a terrifying darkness came upon him.
King James
Genesis 15:12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.

How does God know what will happen hundreds of years in the future?

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Genesis 15:13–16 God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land. They will be enslaved and mistreated 400 years. I will judge that nation, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. You will live a long, full life and will die peacefully. In the fourth generation, your descendants will return to Canaan, for it is not yet time to punish the Amorites for their sins.”
King James
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. 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.

Why was it important for God to reveal so much of the future to Abram?

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Genesis 15:13–16 God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land. They will be enslaved and mistreated 400 years. I will judge that nation, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. You will live a long, full life and will die peacefully. In the fourth generation, your descendants will return to Canaan, for it is not yet time to punish the Amorites for their sins.”
King James
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. 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.

Why did God wait so long to respond to Abram’s sacrifice?

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Genesis 15:17 After sunset when it was dark, a smoking firepot and flaming torch moved among the animal parts on the altar.
King James
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.

If the land belonged to others, how could God give it to Abram?

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Genesis 15:18–21 That day, the Lord made an agreement with Abram. “I have given this land to your child, from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates.”
This was the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.
King James
Genesis 15:18–21  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.