Smoke and Fire
And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. ~Genesis 15:17
Yesterday, we considered Abram and the term “the cutting of the covenant.” I want to continue from Genesis 15 on another thought that I pray will stimulate our heart and be a blessing. In our passage this morning, the covenant that God made to Abram regarding his son, his succession, and the soil would be cut. As the animals had been laid down on two sides, Abram had to drive away the fowls of the air from attacking them. Then, Abram fell asleep and had a dream about the Hebrew nation many years later in the future. As God explained this dream to him and reassured him of the covenant, God came down to cut the covenant. God cut this covenant with the remarkable appearance of a smoking furnace and a burning lamp that passed between the pieces.
There is the darkness.
The sun had set. Nightfall was upon him. Abram may have been apprehensive for the animals and the exact timing of when God would cut the covenant. As darkness fell upon him, his faith was once again being tested. Will God cut the covenant? Where is God when I need Him most? It is now dark; how can I see if God will cut the covenant? Abram found himself wavering and somewhat doubting! Be careful that you do not allow temporary darkness to obscure your faith in God. Be careful that what you cannot see does not prevent you from looking for the answer that God has for you.
There is the demonstration.
God came down, but it was in the form of a smoking furnace and a burning lamp. God gave Abram two very important images that best confirmed the cutting of the covenant. First, there is the image of the smoking furnace. A furnace in Scripture is always a picture of affliction and suffering. It is a vivid picture concerning the trial of our faith. The furnace was a statement that part of the performance of God would come in the way of trial. The purest gold is gold that has gone through the fire. Sometimes, we have to be melted down in order for God to mold us into the image that best glorifies Him. Second, there is the image of the burning lamp. At the darkest moment, a lamp with a glowing fire within was given to him to cut the covenant. The burning lamp is a picture of God’s Word. God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. "The commandment is a lamp; and the law is light." God’s Word would be the lamp that would be the guiding light for Abram and his descendants. God cut the covenant with Abram in a way that spoke to him about God’s provision.
There is the dependability.
As God cut the covenant with Abram, He assured him of His everlasting dependability. God would fulfill everything that He said He would do for Abram. Abram received a powerful assurance that affected his faith, his family, and his future. The demonstration of smoke and fire was meant to erase his doubts and powerfully cement his faith and trust in God to take care of him. God was telling Abram that He would never fail him and that what God said He would do, He would perform it.
If things seem dark and murky for you, don’t despair. It could be that God might speak to you through a smoking furnace and a burning lamp. Find the message that God has for you in your trial. Look to His Word to brighten your path, and follow its light. Let the smoke and fire of God’s presence be your guide.
Have a brightened God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Numbers 23-25