Genesis 15:12-14 NIV
As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions."
God wants us to be at rest and have peace of mind
We’ve been talking about Abram’s role in the covenant ceremony up until this point. This week we will conclude Genesis 15 by discussing how God shows His goodness through the entire ceremony.
Abram had laid out the sacrificial animals and God put him into a deep sleep. This is the second time the term ‘deep sleep’ is used in the Bible. The first time was in Genesis 2:21 when God put Adam into a ‘deep sleep’ and created Eve out of his flesh.
In Adam’s case, God put man into this state because He found the first ‘not good’ thing in His creation. It was not good for man to be alone. Imagine Adam’s state of mind after naming every animal in existence and not finding anyone like himself. He desired a companion. Eve was formed and the covenant of marriage was made between a man and woman.
Don’t be afraid
Abram was also without something he desperately desired, an heir. The night before the covenant ceremony, Abram was fearful and anxious that he would be forced to leave his inheritance to a servant. God had told Abram that he would have not only an heir, but a great many descendants. In fact, God was so moved on Abram’s behalf that He used the ‘deep sleep’ to put his mind at rest not only for his future son, but for all his descendants to the end of time.
God revealed the hardships that the future Israelites would go through, but reassured Abram that they would be a mighty nation with a place to call home. Verse 13 states, ‘
Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years.”’
Numbers are significant in the Hebrew culture and 400 represents divine and perfect timing. Not only was God waiting for the perfect time for Abram to have an heir, He would wait for the perfect time to free his people and give them a homeland. He went so far as to outline the territories they would inhabit and describe the wealth they would possess.
God reassured Abram on every level that his descendants would prosper in His perfect timing and inherit every promise He had made to him. Abram was concerned with a single heir and God revealed to him the future of a great nation for many generations to come. It’s so amazing that when we are consumed with the worries of today, God not only comforts us in our distress, but also has blessings planned far beyond what we could ever imagine.
Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you a great many things, which you do not know.”
I thank you that you comfort me when I have concerns. You reveal to me what I need to know when I need to know it. Thank you for peaceful sleep and a sound mind. I will trust your perfect timing. In Jesus Name, Amen.
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