SPOKEN PRAYER: Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.
A Lop-Sided Covenant
by Pastor Dave Mann
Normally, within human covenants (or contracts) there are two sets of responsibilities to make the arrangement valid.
You will provide X number of bushels of corn and I will pay you Y amount of currency.
If you do this, then I will do that.
This is true even within some covenants that God established.
If you obey my Law, then you will be my people and I will bless you.
Deuteronomy 11:26-32 – the blessings pronounced on Mount Gerizim and the curses pronounced on Mount Ebal.
However, look at the covenant God establishes with Abram. It is not a transactional relationship. It is simply God’s announcement that he will bless Abram.
I am your shield – your protector, your benefactor.
am your very great reward – it is not the “stuff” God gives that is the reward; God himself is the reward, a relationship with the Lord of the universe.
As numerous as the stars of heaven, so shall your offspring be. Even though Abram has no children yet, God promises innumerable descendants.
I will give you this land to take possession of it. This land is promised to Abram (an echo of Genesis 12:1-13) long before the children of Israel, led by Joshua, crossed the Jordan River to battle for the land of Canaan.
Where is the “IF” clause? Where is the condition? There is none. God simply announces his gracious plan.
Abram responds to this incredible proclamation with faith. Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Faith in God is not the condition to validate God’s promise. It is a response to the goodness and faithfulness of God.
Lord God of the universe, we do not deserve the many blessings you give to your people. We are grateful. We believe and trust you, following in the train of Abram. In Jesus’ name, Amen.