Coachlight Bible Study – Genesis Lesson XXVIII

The Covenant Central To All Scripture


Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.


Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.


We can not separate, although many try to separate, God from His Word.  Genesis chapter 15 is the first mention in the Bible of the “Word of God” Scripture demonstrates again and again that God’s Word is eternal.


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.


Isn’t it interesting that the first mention of the word “Word” is the Word of God not of men?


Man is distinguished from animals primarily by the ability to communicate ideas.  Of course God created man with this unique ability, because God loved man and wants to communicate with him.  God’s purpose in giving man the ability to understand, formulate and communicate words was for God to be able to communicate with man; and man could respond to Him with praise.


This should tell us that God’s Word to man is very important, in fact, the most important Words man will ever know or experience.  God gives us a glimpse of how important God’s Word is:


Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.


The concept of the Word of God includes both the written (Scripture) and living Word (Son of God).  In fact as will be demonstrated below, Christ is the sum of all that can be communicated.  The word “word” in Hebrew is dabar and in Greek is logos.  The difference between the Hebrew people and the Greek is interesting.  Both looked for the truth, but to the Hebrew, ultimate truth came by experiencing; and to the Greek, ultimate truth came by thinking.  This is why the beginning Passage of John’s Gospel is so intriguing:




John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.

John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.


By using the word logos, this Passage appealed to the Greek using their word for ultimate reality, and appealed to the Jew because it explained that we experienced the ultimate Truth in person.


I. First Mention Of “I Am”


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.


A. After the Word died and rose again, He proclaimed I Am the Alpha & Omega

1. Alpha & Omega is the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet

2. This makes Christ the sum of all that can be communicated

B. Many of Christ’s great procalamations begin with “I AM”

1. I am the Light of the world

2. I am the Way the Truth & the Life

3. I am the Door

4. I am the Alpha & Omega

5. I am the root and offspring of David, the bright and morning Star.

6. His very name:  I Am that I AM – Exodus 3:14

7. Before Abraham was I AM – John 8:56-58

II. The first mention of “Fear Not”

A. Not however the first mention of fear


Genesis 3:10  And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.


B. Striking contrast between Adam & Abraham




Adam is the “father of all men”

Abraham is the “father of all that believe”

Adam had a fig leaf

Abraham had a shield

Adam received a curse

Abraham received a reward



C. Christ was everything to Abram – Christ is saying today – “Fear Not”

1. He is our Shield of Faith – in fact the whole amour of God – Ephesians 6:10-11

2. No need to be enriched by the Kings of the East – Ephesians 3:20

3. We can have the Lord be our fear – Isaiah 8:12-13

III. The Great Encouragement- (Genesis 15:1-6)

There were nine successive manifestations of God to Abraham, this being the fifth. This revelation seems to have been in the form of a vision, not by a dream.    A. The Revelation

1. When did it come? - “After these things…”- obviously referring to directly after the events of chapter 14.

a. After the saving of Lot.

b. God’s revelations are always connected with His people’s needs.

2. Why did it come? – “Fear not, Abram…” Then Abraham must have had some

fear. This could have been caused by recent events. A maxim: “Fear before

battle is the mark of a coward, but fear after battle is the characteristic of a hero.”

First mention of “fear not.”

3. What was it? – “I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward.” God’s

revelation was what was needed.

a. God as a shield against all foes.

b. God as a reward after victory. Abraham had refused the spoils of Sodom and

Gomorrah; but God would not let him be a loser. God Himself, would be his

exceeding great reward.

B. Abram’s  Response (verses. 2&3)

1. He is despondent – “What wilt thou give me?” – After his long waiting, Abraham is almost complaining.

2. He is disappointed – “Seeing I go childless…” – Ten years had gone by

since his entrance into Canaan. Although there had been the promise, there

was no sign of fulfillment.

3. His discouraging prospect – “One born in my house is min heir.” – Abraham

seems to have almost lost hope and was taking on conviction that his servant

would be his heir.

C. God’s Assurance – (verses 4&5) – Now we are going to see how God dealt

faithfully with His tried and troubled servant.

1. His faith was corrected. – “This shalt not be thine heir.” God of course,

had not forgotten to be gracious. God remembers His promises.

2. His faith was instructed. “He that shall come… shall be thine heir.” – God

instructed in a way that He had not dome before. God taught His servant by

giving him new ground for trust.

3. His faith was encouraged. – “Tell the stars, if thou be able to number them… so

shall thy seed be.

D. The Acceptance – (verse 6) – Quick response – “Abraham believed.”

1. Abraham had faith before, but now it was a stronger, fuller, clearer and more prominent trust in God.

a. Hebrew word for “believed” comes from a root where we derive our “Amen.”

b. So we could paraphrase it something like, “And Abraham said ‘Amen’ to the

Lord.” (Amen never means a petition, but always refers to ‘May it be so’ or ‘So

be it.’ A strong assertion of faith.)

c. Faith is the only response to god’s revelations.

2. God’s Rejoinder – “And He counted it to him for righteousness. This means

the state or condition of being right with God. This is the first mention of the

word righteousness that is such an important doctrine in both the Old and New

Testaments. Abraham was originally destitute of righteousness and is now

reckoned as righteous, through faith in God.

Three parts to this righteousness:

a. God is the Object of our faith.

b. The Word of God is the base of our faith.

c. Righteousness is the result.


IV. The Confirmation Of Faith – (Genesis 15:7-21) – In response to Abraham’s faith (verse 6), God entered into a solemn covenant with him, assuring him of the certainty while revealing still more of the meaning of the divine promises concerning him and his seed. Covenant is the key word.


A. The Foundation Of The Covenant – (verse 7) – The basis of the covenant was God’s character and revelation to Abraham. On this foundation everything else rested.

1. How was it introduced?By the announcement of the divine name: “I

am Jehovah.” – This is the all of all. God’s unchanging presence and


2. Then came the reminder of what God had already done for Abraham – “That

brought thee out of the Caldees.”

3. Then came the renewal of the divine purpose. “To give this land, to

inherit it.” God again reminds Abraham of His divine purpose.

B.  The Desire For The Covenant – (verse 8) – Abraham met this new assurance of

God with an earnest desire for a proof.


1. Abraham sought for knowledge and assurance. “Whereby shall I know?” He

desired an outward guarantee.

2. But he did not require an outward sign in order to believe,

a. Because he believed, he had a desire for confirmation.

b. He believed God’s Word, but wondered how and when it could be fulfilled.

c. To illustrate this, we can go to the New Testament and see two accounts of revelation, both with almost the same words, but a contrast in faith.

1. First of all, let’s go to the account of Zacharias, as the angel was revealed to Zacharias that his wife, Elizabeth would have a child:


Luke 1:18  And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.”


2. Notice the words are almost identical to the words of Abraham. Now, let’s look at the account of the virgin Mary.


Luke 1:34 “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”

3. Now let’s notice the attitudes behind these similar words:

a. Mary: “Be it unto me according to Thy Word.” (Luke 1:38)

b. Zacharias: “And behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak…

because thou believest not My Words… “ (Luke 1:20)

c. Abraham: “And He counted it to him for righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6)


Seeking God For A Sign




God’s Answer


And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. (Luke 1:31)

“…How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”

(Luke 1:34)

“…be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”

(Luke 1:38)

And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35)


“…and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. (Luke 1:12-17)

“…Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. (Luke 1:12)

“…Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.

(Luke 1:18)

“And behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak…

because thou believest not My Words… “ (Luke 1:20)



Abrahamic Covenant

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.

(Genesis 15:2-3)

“And he believed in the LORD; And He counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6)


C. The Preparation Of The Blood Covenant – (verses. 9&10) – Divine instructions

are given, “Take for Me an heifer…” Abraham then proceeded to fulfill the

requirements of a covenant. “Took… divided.” – (Leviticus 1:6). Having divided

the animals, he places the pieces opposite each other, and one bird opposite to the other, leaving a passage between.

1. This was the customary form of agreement or contract. Two parties

walking in procession, signifying their agreement. (Jeremiah 34:18).

2. Underlying idea – covenant by means of sacrifice.

3. The blood covenant was a well known method in Abraham’s time for

making an agreement.

D. The Readiness Of The Covenant – (verses 11&12) - FaithfulnessAbraham did all that he was instructed. (The attitude to receive from God).

1. Kept watch.

2. Kept away the birds of prey.

E. The Message Of The Covenant – (verses13-16) – A revelation of four parts

now is given to Abraham telling him of events to come – things his seed

will experience.

1. His seed to experience persecution – (verse 13) – Three elements in this

was: 1. Exile, 2. Bondage, 3. Affliction. Remember Abraham is a type of

the consecrated believer.

2. His seed to witness great power. God was going to show all of those in

Egypt many miracles. (verse 14).

3. Abraham himself is to experience great peace – (verse 15).


Romans 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…”


4. He is called to exercise patience. (vs. 16).


Romans 8:24, 25 “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”


F. The Making Of The Covenant – (verses 17-21) – After the revelation of God’s

will comes the divine assurance in the form of a covenant.

1. Symbolic actions – (verse 17)

a. A cylindrical firepot and a fiery torch  to symbolize the presence of God. (Exodus 19). (Smoking Mt. Sinai).

b. The symbol of God passing between the animals ratifying the covenant.

2. Divine Assurance. (verse. 18-20) – God now reveals the precise limits of the land promised to Abraham.

a. It seems pretty clear that the two rivers referred to are the Nile and

the Euphrates, thus giving boundaries to the Holy Land that have

never yet been realized.

b. God’s promises still await their fulfillment will be realized during the Millennium


IV. Applications – The study of the Divine covenants of the Bible is very profound, and truly holds the student’s interest. Of the covenants with Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Israel, and the New Covenant; each has its own characteristic features and parts, and only one is conditional - The Mosaic. The Mosaic is a covenant of works, whereas the others are covenants of grace. Let’s consider the meaning and message of this covenant.

1. The Divine Action – God only, passed through the pieces and not Abraham. This points out that a divine covenant is not a mutual agreement on equal terms between parties, but a divine promise assured and ratified by means of a visible pledge of its fulfillment. This of course, takes the divine covenant out of the category of all similar human agreements.

2. The Human Attitude – What then is man’s part in the covenant? - a recipient. God gives – Abraham takes. The believer, which is the antitype of Abraham should,


a. Like Abraham, respond to the covenant by believing God’s Word, weather it makes sense or not.  We believe it because it was God Who said it;

b. Like Abraham, seek God’s guidance through testing, believing Him through the sanctifying stage, So that we are justified, and bear fruit

Eternal Covenants of God with Israel and The Gentiles

Abrahamic Covenant

Expansion Covenants

Promise of A National Land


Genesis 12:1; 13:14-15 & 17

Palestinian Covenant – gave Israel assurance of final, permanent restoration to the land forever

Deuteronomy 30:3-5; Ezekiel 20:33-37, 42-44

Promise of Redemption National and Universal – (Blessing)

Genesis 12:3; 22:18 & 3:16

New Covenant – Israel’s Spiritual Blessing and Redemption forever

Jeremiah 31:31-40; Hebrews 8:6-13

Promise of Numerous Descendants – A Great Nation


Genesis 12:3; 13:16;17:2-6

Davidic Covenant – Dynasty, Nation, Throne forever

II Samuel 7:11, 13, 16

Jeremiah 33:20 & 21; 31:35-37

Christ and the Gentiles – Based not on birth but rather rebirth

Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. {accounted: or, imputed}

Galatians 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

Galatians 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Galatians 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.