Ge 15:1-21. Divine
1. After these things—the conquest of
the invading kings.
the word of the Lord—a phrase used,
when connected with a vision, to denote a prophetic message.
Fear not, Abram—When the excitement of
the enterprise was over, he had become a prey to despondency and terror
at the probable revenge that might be meditated against him. To dispel
his fear, he was favored with this gracious announcement. Having such a
promise, how well did it become him (and all God's people who have the
same promise) to dismiss fears, and cast all burdens on the Lord (Ps 27:3).
2. Lord God, what wilt thou give?—To his
mind the declaration, "I am thy exceeding great reward" [Ge 15:1], had but one meaning, or was viewed but
in one particular light, as bearing on the fulfilment of the promise,
and he was still experiencing the sickness of hope deferred.
3. Eliezer of Damascus … one born in my
house is mine heir—According to the usage of nomadic tribes,
his chief confidential servant, would be heir to his possessions and
honors. But this man could have become his son only by adoption; and
how sadly would that have come short of the parental hopes he had been
encouraged to entertain! His language betrayed a latent spirit of
fretfulness or perhaps a temporary failure in the very virtue for which
he is so renowned—and absolute submission to God's time, as well
as way, of accomplishing His promise.
4. This shall not be thine heir—To the
first part of his address no reply was given; but having renewed it in
a spirit of more becoming submission, "whereby shall I know that I
shall inherit it" [Ge 15:8], he
was delighted by a most explicit promise of Canaan, which was
immediately confirmed by a remarkable ceremony.
9-21. Take me an heifer, &c.—On
occasions of great importance, when two or more parties join in a
compact, they either observe precisely the same rites as Abram did, or,
where they do not, they invoke the lamp as their witness. According to
these ideas, which have been from time immemorial engraven on the minds
of Eastern people, the Lord Himself condescended to enter into covenant
with Abram. The patriarch did not pass between the sacrifice and the
reason was that in this transaction he was bound to nothing. He asked a
sign, and God was pleased to give him a sign, by which, according to
Eastern ideas, He bound Himself. In like manner God has entered into
covenant with us; and in the glory of the only-begotten Son, who passed
through between God and us, all who believe have, like Abram, a sign or
pledge in the gift of the Spirit, whereby they may know that they shall
inherit the heavenly Canaan.