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A Binding Covenant

Daily Reading: Genesis 15

Scripture Focus: When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram. (Genesis 15.17-18a)

Devotional Thought: I've heard it said that friendships formed in a shipwreck are enduring. I'm sure that you remember the people who were with you in dark and painful trials. Through the valley of the shadow of death... through winding paths of illness... through uncertainty of job loss... through the devastation of a break-up... bonds form that are not easily broken.

In the days of the Old Testament, people formed blood covenants. In this covenant, an animal was sacrificed (signifying death), and the covenanting partners would pass through the sections of the sacrifice to indicate that they would pass through death itself together. It also symbolized that breaking the covenant was punishable by death!

That is what God symbolized in the covenant he made with Abram (Abraham) in Genesis 15. God had instructed Abraham to make a covenant sacrifice, accepting the promise of God to multiply his offspring. Then as Abraham slept during the darkness of night a smoking firepot and a flaming torch passed through the sacrifice. The smoking firepot symbolized Abraham - containing fire, but shrouded in smoke. The flaming torch symbolized God - the source of pure fire, the source of the fire in Abraham's heart. Together they passed through the pieces of death. It was "a friendship formed in a shipwreck."

Abraham has died, but God has not forgotten that covenant. While Abraham is in the company of God in heaven above, God is continuing to work out the covenant on earth below as he multiplies Abraham's descendants (children of faith) like the sand of the seashore and the stars of the sky.

Thanks be to Jesus that he has provided the sacrifice for us! Let us enter into a binding covenant with him and become a part of God's promise to Abram!

Prayer: Lord, I know that you have paid the price for my sins. I receive your free gift of forgiveness and life in Jesus' name. I commit to live in covenant relationship with you. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 1 I love you, O LORD, my strength. 2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. 4 The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of destruction assailed me; 5 the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me. 6 In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears. (Psalms 18:1-6)

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