Day 77: One-Sided Agreements

Genesis 15:17-21

It came to pass that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold, a smoking furnace, and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. In that day Yahweh made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your seed I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”

What happened here was interesting, not only because “a smoking furnace, and a flaming torch” appeared, but because Abram lay helpless in a deep sleep. Typically, an agreement like this one would require that the parties making the agreement walk together “between these pieces” but in this case, God made sure that Abram was unable to participate.

God went on with the agreement by making the terms clear and then passed through the pieces himself by way of the smoking and flaming objects.

Paul, in the New Testament, compares the agreement that God made with Abram with the agreement He made with us in order to save us from the penalty of our sin. When
we think of what happened here in view of our salvation, we see that God wants us to have no part in it. God is the only one who is making a commitment and He has made it impossible for us to participate at all. The Bible tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. None of us can participate in an agreement with God because we have already been convicted of sin. God made sure of that. Then He had His Son die in our place so that He could give us the promise of life in Him.

When God saved us, He did it on His own. That’s what grace is. It’s God’s choice to help us by Himself. That’s what unconditional love really means. We can accept His love and thank Him for it, or we can decide not to accept it, but we can’t buy it in any way because we are poor, lame and helpless.