January 1, 2017 – Gen. 15:1-21 – Abram’s Horror of Great Darkness, Covenant

Torah readings: Gen. 15:1-21 – Abram’s Horror of Great Darkness, Covenant
Psalm 11
Isaiah 1:1-8 + 2:2-3

Notes on Gen. 15:1-21

Notes on Psalm 11

Notes on Isaiah 1:1-8 + 2:2-3

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1 Response to January 1, 2017 – Gen. 15:1-21 – Abram’s Horror of Great Darkness, Covenant

  1. admin says:

    Michael Carlson had some questions:

    –Why is it so hugely important that Abraham and his descendants are going to possess the land? What is the significance of it?

    Abram was called out of his own country, people, culture, etc. God wanted to create a new culture based on his Law, free of idolatry, as a prototype and picture of his spiritual kingdom that Messiah would bring. In a sense, all believers are strangers and wanderers through this world like Abraham. But the Promised Land was to be the site for God to bring Messiah into the world, so there needed to be a place.

    –Why was Abraham overwhelmed with great terror?

    This was the terror of facing God knowing your own sin and weakness; the fear of God. It is a necessary precursor to repentance, which we all feel in one way or another. The horror of great darkness was directed at Abram’s sinful nature. The deep sleep was directed at his inability and weakness to carry out any portion of his part of the covenant.

    –Why did Abraham need to know that his descendants would be enslaved and oppressed for 400 years?

    Abram had asked for a sign, a way to know what what God was promising would come true. Throughout the Bible God would give the prophets a vision of something near at hand combined with a far off prophesy usually concerning Messiah. This was a pretty detailed account of the future history of his descendents, which would help him believe that the promise was real.

    –What does it mean that the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached it’s limit? Who were the Amorites?

    The Amorites were one of the tribes in Canaan, and later in scripture become a symbol for all of the Canaanites.

    (There is another people called Amorites – Semitic speaking people, descendants of Shem, to whom Abram was probably related. They founded Mari and took over Babylon for a time. The lawgiving Babylonian King Hammurabi was an Amorite. But these are not the Amorites God is speaking of here.)

    Their sin was not “full” in the sense that they had not progressed to such abominations of idolatry and inhumane practices that they deserved to be wiped out, from God’s point of view. That only happened in the time of Moses and Joshua.

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