What Every Believer Should Know About His Own Heritage
1. The human condition is such that every person, at some point, develops an interest in his own heritage.
2. Believers will find that this longing must eventually bring them to Genesis 15:6.
a. This key verse is quoted four times in the N.T.– Rom.4:3,22; Gal.3:6; James 2:23.
b. It is the first specific reference to faith in the promise of God.
3. Our heritage is to be discovered in the circumstances surrounding this saying.
1. Our heritage arose from a willingness to wait for the reward God provides.
a. Gen. 15:1 – “Fear not...your reward shall be very great.”
b. “After these things” links this episode to Gen. 14:21-24.
c. “I am your shield” means God would be his king.
2. Our heritage developed in response to real human questions.
a. Convictions and identity cannot be formed without some struggle.
b. The events of Genesis 15 happened because of two questions.
i. “O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless...?” (v.2)
ii. “O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” (v.8)
c. Our lives take the shape they do because of our answers to these two questions: What will I have? How am I to know?
3. Our heritage was fashioned through messy and exhausting effort.
a. Gen. 15:7, 9-10, 17 describes “cutting a covenant.”
b. God was consenting to bind himself under penalty of the covenant.
i. Jer. 34:17-20
ii. Heb. 6:16-18
c. Remember what Abraham had to do all day, v.10-12.
4. Our heritage has come to us through twists and turns over a long time.
a. What the LORD wanted Abraham to know for certain:
i. His offspring would be servants in a strange land 400 years.
ii. Judgment would be brought on the nation they served.
iii. He would not get to see it himself.
b. This meant that waiting was required.
c. It did not mean that there was no purpose at work in unfolding events, v.16.
5. Our heritage rests upon a history of kept promises.
a. Two of them may be observed here:
i. “Afterward they shall come out with great possessions” (Ex. 12:35-36)
ii. “From the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates” (1 Kings 4:20-21)
b. Every kept promise points to Christ (v.18-21; Rom.4:13).
c. Hebrews 6:19, 20
1. God has been present and at work in our heritage.
2. We must stand in covenant relationship with Him.
3. He has made it possible through Christ.