May 9, 2014
READ: Genesis 15:5-21
When the sun went down . . . there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. —Genesis 15:17
In the ancient Near East a treaty between a superior (a lord or king) and an inferior (his subjects) was called a suzerain treaty. The ratification ceremony required animals to be sacrificed and cut in half. The animal parts were then arranged in two rows on the ground, forming an aisle between them. As the suzerain walked between the halves, he was publicly declaring he would keep the covenant and would become like the slain animals if he failed to keep his word.
When Abram asked God how he could be sure His promises would come to pass, God used the culturally significant symbolism of the suzerain treaty to affirm His promises (Gen. 15). When the burning torch passed through the pieces of the sacrifice, Abram understood that God was declaring it was His job to keep the covenant.
God’s covenant with Abram and His assurance of its completion extends to followers of Christ. That is why Paul repeatedly refers to believers as sons of Abraham in his New Testament writings (Rom. 4:11-18; Gal. 3:29). Once we accept Jesus Christ as Savior, God becomes the keeper in our covenant of faith (see John 10:28-29).
Because God is the keeper of our salvation, with renewed confidence in Him we trust Him with our lives.
— Randy Kilgore
His eternal covenant He will never break.
Onward then, and fear not, children of the day;
For His Word shall never, never pass away. —Havergal
Our salvation is secure because God does the holding.
Source: Our Daily Bread