And he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away. As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram… Genesis 15:7-12 ESV
God cut a covenant with Abram to confirm the validity of all He had promised him. It was a blood offering, a blood oath. From that day on, there would be vows in place between God and Abram because of this ceremony. The ritual of cutting a covenant meant that each party was pledging all they were and all they owned to be forever available to the other person. Abram gave up all rights to himself and offered God the wealth of all he owned (exhibited by sacrificing the best of his flock for the covenant ceremony itself) as well as all rights to himself. He was no longer master of his own life but permanently put himself at God’s disposal.
A new covenant was cut at Calvary. Blood was shed again, except now it wasn’t the blood of animals, it was the blood of God’s own Son. When I embraced Jesus and came to God through the way of the cross, I took part in the covenant He offered just as tangibly as Abram and God enacted their ceremony. If I belong to Christ today, the covenant is firmly in place and this is what it means.
Lord, I am completely yours. I give up all rights to myself and like Abram, I am listening for Your voice to lead me on my journey. All I am and all I have is Yours. I am at Your disposal for always.
God’s response. And all I am is yours! All I have is yours. The resources of heaven are at your disposal. Like Abram, you are on a journey and there will be hardships but hold on, you will inherit the land. You are an heir of everything I have given my Son. Defer your hope to eternal things. Because of our covenant, I have your back. I will protect and keep you, and totally provide for you.
Who benefits most from this covenant? Me, for sure! Yet, throughout my journey with God, I break the fidelity of our covenant exchange. In ancient times, the penalty was death. But God even took care of that. Jesus died in my place for all the times I would be unfaithful. Covenant love is not threatened by my poor performance or my failing heart.
I can’t tell you how many times I have thought, “Oh, how costly is my salvation. I must give up all rights to myself and to my life?” That is tragically skewed. Did I only consider my part in the covenant? Apparently. I forgot that God promised me all of Himself and everything He owns.
Forgive me for counting the cost and thinking the price is too high. I am the beneficiary of everything eternal. Amen