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Bible Commentaries

Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books

Genesis 15

Verses 1-21

God's Promise To Protect

Abram may have faced threats from those around him, but God assured him that he was his shield ( Gen_15:1 ). That is, God stood ready to protect him like a shield would in battle. Israel received a similar promise ( Deu_33:29 ; Psa_7:10 ; Pro_2:6-7 ; Pro_30:5 ). David, while fleeing from Absalom, relied on God's ability to protect him ( Psa_3:3 ).

God's promise of protection evidently reminded Abram he did not have any children. He evidently grew impatient to know how God would keep his promise of making him a great nation. In fact, he complained to God because he did not have a child as promised. He wondered if his steward, Eliezer, would be his heir (15:2-3). God eased his doubts by telling him it would be his own seed (15:4-5).

The Lord also told Abram he would give the land to him. As one proof the promise would be fulfilled, God made a covenant with Abram (15:6-11). Further, God foretold the four hundred years of bondage Abram's descendants would experience in Egypt. The Lord promised to bring them out with great possessions. He then clearly stated the borders of the land Abram's seed would possess (15:12-21).

Verses 7-21

The Promised Blessings

The words "After these things" in verse one show the importance of remembering the victory God had given. Abram firmly believed God was also the source of his wealth. These facts must be recalled to fully appreciate the vision of Chapter 15. First, God reminded Abram that he was his protection and source of the great blessings he received.

Abram's trouble with fully appreciating God's blessings rested in his lack of an heir. God promised Abram's own son would be heir to the blessings coming from God. In fact, Abram's descendants would be many, like the stars in the heaven. The victory of Chapter 14 gave Abram a strong basis for believing in the Lord (Verse 6).

Second, God renewed his promise to give the land of Canaan to Abram. When Abram asked how he could know he would inherit the land, God's answer came in the form of a covenant made with Abram (15:7-21). Abram knew he could count on a covenant with God because of the sovereignty he had displayed in the earlier defeat of the four kings.

These two chapters clearly tie God's great promises with his sovereignty. If he rules over heaven and earth, then he can give his faithful whatever he has promised. No wonder Paul said God could work all things together for good to them that love the Lord ( Rom_8:28 )!

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Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Genesis 15". "Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghc/genesis-15.html. 2014.