Read Genesis 15
Focus on verse 2 & 6 & 18
When God makes a promise – it will be done. I recall a story that is told of a man who attempted to take advantage of the Lord’s words. He said to God: “Lord, I know that to you a thousand years are like a day, and a thousand dollars is like a penny… so Lord… may I please have a penny?” The Lord answered him: “Sure… in a minute.”
God had made a promise to Abram regarding his descendants yet at this point he had no children, and he and Sarai’s biological clocks were ticking right along! He brings this up to the Lord in v. 2 and the Lord takes him out and shows him the stars – “that’s how may children you will have” He says. Then we have v. 6
“And he (Abram) believed the Lord, and he (God) counted it to him as righteousness.”
The Lord later follows this up by cutting a formal covenant with Abram regarding permanent possession of the land for him and his descendants. The one difference in this covenant is that Abram falls asleep while it’s going on and sees a vision of a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passing between the pieces of the animals.
A typical ancient near eastern covenant would have cut and animal in half and the two parties making the covenant would walk between the pieces together essentially saying to each other “so be it to me if I break this covenant with you.”
In this case God carries both ends of the covenant, it would seem the flaming torch that walks between the pieces with God is Jesus who will die on behalf of the offspring of Abram to make right the covenant, which Abram and his offspring ultimately did not keep.
Jesus sacrifice makes it all right, so that not only Abram’s descendants but all humanity has the opportunity to enter into this covenant of blessing that the Lord so graciously offers.