July 14, 2023

The Covenant-making God

Genesis 15:6-21

The Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to . . . the Euphrates.”

—  Genesis 15:18

Politicians make lots of promises, especially during campaigns. But we are not surprised when their lofty ­promises are broken. Today, in fact, it seems to be getting harder and harder to find people whose word is credible. Could that be why we might struggle also to take God at his word?

Yet God reveals himself as the promise-making, promise-keeping God. Through trial and error, Abraham came to discover that God is the only One who can always be counted on. God is forever true to his word.

In ancient times, kings often made covenants with their subjects. These were formal agree­ments, including oaths and solemn vows, to establish and maintain relationships.

In Genesis 15 Abraham’s doubts led to a covenantal response from God, by which God sealed his promises with an oath. In those days, oaths were often sealed by means of a gory ceremony involving the slaughter of animals. This was intended to show that if the covenant were broken, the violator would suffer the same fate as the animals. Amazingly, God made this kind of oath with Abraham, promising to bless him and his descendants. And God remained true to his word, as always.

What promise of God do you need to rely on today?

Thank you, Lord, for always being trustworthy and true. Help us to know that when you make a promise, you will surely fulfill it. Amen.

About the author — Dan Jongsma

Daniel Jongsma serves as an interim pastor in Fulton, Illinois. He has pastored congregations in Elmhurst and Fulton, Illinois; in Dearborn, Michigan; and in Nashville, Tennessee. Dan also served as a church planter in the Chicago area. He and his wife, Gloria, have three daughters and four grandchildren.

Start Your Day With Quick Daily Devotions

See God's love and power, his presence and purpose in your life everyday