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.
Though Abram seems like an unlikely candidate to re-establish God's kingdom on the earth, God will nonetheless be faithful to bring the nations back to Himself. And we have been invited into this unfolding drama. Jesus is inviting His disciples to reclaim the world for the kingdom of God and has empowered us by His Spirit to do it.
At the tower of Babel, we see man's attempt to ascend to God, and we see God's gracious condescension to man. God's scattering of defiant and self-reliant humanity looks forward to Pentecost where people from every nation would hear the good news about Jesus Christ in their own language.