In this passage, we note "the kindness and the severity of God" (Romans 11:22). Severity because a holy God must punish sin, and kindness because God has shown us where certain behaviours lead. Before we come down too hard on the wickedness of Sodom, we need to look into the mirror of God's Word and examine our hearts and see if there is any wicked way in us.
In this passage, we see the institution of the covenant of circumcision and the importance of what is on the outside matching what is on the inside. Unfortunately, we have all failed to keep God's covenant and are by nature covenant-breakers. But the good news is that Jesus, the only true covenant-keeper, died the death of a covenant-breaker, so that by faith in Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we might become covenant-keepers.
In this passage, the Lord renews His promise of land to Abram, but in a very strange way. We see some animals get cut in half and some animals not get cut in half. We see Abram drive some vultures away. We read about an ominous prophecy concerning Abram’s descendants. But then, we read something so strange, in the smoking fire pot and flaming torch, that it sounds like a scene from Disney’s The Sword in the Stone. But we see how all of it points us to Jesus Christ.
In this passage, we see a battle and a blessing that point us to Jesus. We see that Jesus is the true and better King who executes judgment and plunders His enemies, and that Jesus is the true and better Priest who mediates a new covenant between the people and the Lord. May we find comfort in the fact that God always keeps His promises.
In this passage, we see a different Abram than we saw in Genesis 12. In light of Abram’s failure to trust in God, we see him here walk by faith once again in God’s promises, which is good news for all of us who, like Abram, wrestle with trusting and distrusting God and His promises.
In this passage, we see Abram's obedience to the call of God to go to the Promised Land, but then we also see Abram's failure to trust God to fulfill His promises. Yet we can have confidence that nothing and no one can derail God's promises, not even God's people.