Abram, The Furnace, And The Burning Lamp.

Genesis 15:5-11

Then He (Jesus) brought him (Abram) outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”  And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.”

Then He said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it.”  And he said, “Lord God, how shall I know that I will inherit it?”  So He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

In Chapter 12 of Genesis, God turned from dealing with Gentiles and began a new program. He appeared to a man named, “Abram,” and made a brand new covenant with him. He blessed him, set him apart, and promised He would make him into a great nation.  He would become the father of the Jewish nation.

God Confirms His Covenant.

In chapter 15 of Genesis, He again came to Abram and confirmed His covenant. Abram wanted to know how he would know that he would inherit all God told Him.  As a sign between them, the LORD had Abram bring to Him the five animals mentioned in the opening passage to be sacrificed.–In case you didn’t know, five is the number of grace, which is the kind of covenant God was going to make with Abram.  It was not like the one which would come some 450 years later at Mt. Sinai.  This one was unconditional, without any curse, and is still in effect to this day.

You may follow the link below to read all about why 5 is the number of Grace if you are interested:


Anyone who wants to know more about the meanings of the animals and offerings may follow the link below to a complete study on that subject:


Cutting A Covenant,Abram knew what was coming.  You see, in the culture of his day, as with many in the world today, covenants were “Cut” between two parties.  Both participants, as a sign of their vows, performed what was known as, “The walk of death.” It was called, “Cutting a covenant,” because covenant, unlike a simple contract, always involved the shedding of blood to seal the deal and was even more binding. It was till death. God was going to do this with Abram.–In preparation, Abram divided in half the heifer, the goat, and the ram, but left the birds intact as they are too small to split in two. He then placed each of the divided pieces of the three larger animals opposite it’s other half.

As you can imagine, there was blood everywhere, all of it was spilled on the ground on the path in between the animals. The parties to the covenant would walk the path between the animal pieces on top of the blood.  In so doing, each was swearing on pain of death that they would keep their part of the bargain.

But…..if either party did not live up to their part of the covenant, they were saying, in essence, “May I be split asunder as these animals if I fail.”  The penalty was death, which is why it was called, “The walk of death.”

Sleeping Partner.Now of course, God is certainly able to keep His part.  There is no concern that He going to ever fail in any aspect at any time, anywhere.  But what about Abram?  He is human.  He is fallible.  Was he going to be able to hold up his end of the bargain?  NO WAY!  He was most certainly going to fail at some point.  And even if he somehow kept his part, one of his descendants would certainly fail to do so.  That would make Abram liable for the covenant and he would have to die.

Well God, in His mercy, wanted Abram to have all the benefits of the covenant without being liable for it.  How in the world could He do that?  How was He going to be able to preserve Abram from such a heavy liability? 🤔He had a plan! 😍 Let’s follow the story…

“12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram; and, see, an horror of great darkness fell on him. 13 And he (God) said to Abram, Know of a surety that your seed (descendants) shall be a stranger in a land that is not their’s, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance (Wealth). 15 And you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall come here again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.”

Why did God put Abram into a deep sleep? Because, as you read in the opening scripture, He saw what was happening.  Abram was racing around, trying to keep the vultures away from the split animals.  While that sounds like a noble idea, it is actually a picture of man trying to serve God using his own strength, a picture of self-righteousness. 😲

That’s us. We humans are always trying to help God out, aren’t we? Like Uzzah who reached out to steady the Ark, or like Sarai who told Abram to have a child by her maid, Hagar, we’re always getting our sticky little fingers into things.  But does God need our help?…..at all…..?  Big fat NO!!!

Was He able to preserve what Abram prepared at His command?  Yes.  Of course He was. He doesn’t need the Uzzahs or the Sarai’s of the world to steady the Ark or produce an heir through their own strength.  He that promised is faithful.  He will bring it to pass in the fullness of time and it will be VERY GOOD! 🙌🏻

God wasn’t going to allow Abram to use his own works, which were doomed to failure. So basically, He knocked him out; put him into a deep sleep.  He did not want Abram to have to be the one to walk between those pieces and become liable for the covenant. But if he was asleep, who was going to walk the path? Who indeed! 🥰

17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.  18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:  19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, 20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, 21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”

WHOA!!!  Did you catch that?  Before Abram Could walk on the bloody ground, GOD PUT HIM TO SLEEP and two Others walked between the pieces:  The “Burning lamp” and the “Smoking Furnace.”  😮

Hmmm…..a pillar of fire and a pillar of smoke. Sound familiar? It should! These same two pillars lead Israel through the desert during their wanderings!  What, or more to the point, Who were they?  JESUS AND THE FATHER!  Jesus is the Light of the World, the One Who became liable for the covenant on our behalf to His satisfy His Father’s fiery wrath against sin!

What man couldn’t do, God did for us.  He knew we would try to keep our end of the bargain and that we would and utterly fail.  So He not only kept His part…..He also keeps OUR PART!  Father and Son are the “Covenantors;” And you and I are the sleeping-partner “Beneficiaries!” 💖

What an AWESOME message of God’s love for us the Holy Spirit has given in the story of the Abram, the Furnace, and the Burning Lamp!

7 thoughts on “Abram, The Furnace, And The Burning Lamp.

    1. 😮😮😮WOW!!! Glad you are so blessed! I know how you feel because I felt the same way when I first saw the Bible in a new light. Makes you fall head over heels in love with Jesus when you get a clearer picture of what He did for us. 💖💖💖


  1. Am always marvelled at the revelation and insight you give on any article. God richly bless and may the Holy Spirit keep revealing deep secrets as you willingly share with us also.
    Please do you audio versions as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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