This chapter is about God’s covenant/contract with Abram. God makes it official. I hope you enjoy the read.
After Abram got Lot back, God spoke to Abram in a dream, saying: “Don’t be afraid, Abram. I’m your shield, your very great reward.” Abram says, O Lord, what can you give me since I’m childless? And Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my house, will be my heir & inherit my estate. Because you’ve given me no children.”
The word of the Lord came to him: “This man won’t be your heir. But a son from your own body will become your heir.” God took Abram outside & said, “Look up & count the stars, if you can. So will your descendants be.” This is also found in Romans 4:18. “Abram believed the Lord. (Now he believes him!?) & he credited it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6, NIV. This line is also found in Romans 4:3; Romans 4:22; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23.) God said, “I’m the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.”
Abram is a bit of a doubting Thomas. No, really he is. He says, “God, how can I know, for sure, that I’ll get possession of it? Like for real, for real?” God answers saying, “Bring me a heifer, a goat, & a ram. All 3 gotta be 3 years old. Plus, bring along a dove & a young pigeon.” Abram brought these things to God. He cut them in 2 & arranged the halves opposite each other. He didn’t cut the birds in half.
As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep. And “a thick & dreadful darkness came over him.” God said to him, “Know for sure that your descendants will be strangers in a strange land. They’ll be enslaved & mistreated for 400 years. I’ll punish the nation they serve as slaves. Afterward they’ll come out with great possessions.” This is also found in Acts 7:7. God lets Abram know that he’ll go to his fathers in peace & be buried at a ripe old age. God also tells Abram, “In 4 generations (so Abram’s 3-4x-great-grandson. It depends on if you count Abram or not.), your descendants will come back here. The sin of the Amorites hasn’t reached its peak, yet.” Now this line makes me think. Why would they need to wait until the Amorites to become EVEN MORE sinful?
When sun set, a smoking fire pot with a blazing torch appeared & passed between the pieces. (This one I’m not sure if this is a metaphor or literal.) On that very day, God made his covenant/contract with Abram official. “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt (I’m assuming that this is the Nile River.) to the great river, the Euphrates. The land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, & Jebusites.” (Genesis 15:18-21, NIV.) A couple of these names have been historically, & archaeologically, proven to actually exist. Like the Hittites & Canaanites.