Posted by: Heather | September 30, 2009

If I break my word, you may do this to me. . .

Last week Tyson and I went to a men’s retreat put on by Dad’s church. The speaker canceled so we watched a video series called “In the Dust of the Rabbi” by Ray Vander Laan. Now I must say, I don’t know much at all about Mr. Vander Laan, but I appreciated this series. After we got home, I did some searching on the Internet, and found some youtube “video’s” of him. The ones I listened to were just audio. What I found was that he has spent extensive time in the Middle East learning about the Jews (from the Jews), and about their culture. He has also learned a lot about local archaeology. Again, I am not endorsing him, as I don’t know much about him at all, everything I know about him comes from him, so I have not verified any of what he says yet.

However, he discussed spending some time with some nomad shepherds, and in this time witnessed a covenant (an engagement in this case). He discussed how it was carried out. In this case, the patriarch of the groom’s family killed a goat and let the blood pool in a low spot in the ground. He then took off his sandals and stepped in the blood barefoot. The patriarch of the bride’s family did the same. They were saying in effect, if my son/daughter does not fulfill his/her end of this agreement, you may step in my blood like this. (I guess if this happens, you will find that patriarch in a ditch with his throat cut and there will be sandal tracks in his blood!)

Mr. Vander Laan said that he sat there and trembled as he contemplated Genesis 15 in this light. God had Abram kill 5 animals and allow the blood to pool. God established a covenant with Abram about his land, his descendants, and the Messiah. Then a horrible darkness overcame Abram. Mr Vander Laan said that this is a euphemism for Abram being scared to death. He said that Abram has realized that if he so much as puts his little toe in that blood, he is a dead man, because he cannot keep his end of the bargain. But notice who passes between the carcasses. A smokey furnace, and a torch. Both are emblems of God. God said in effect, “if I don’t keep my end of the bargain, you may walk in my blood, and if you don’t keep your end of the bargain, you may walk in my blood” God walked between the carcasses in Abram’s place!

Think this is far fetched? Look at Hebrews 6:

Hebrews 6:13-20
(13) For when God made promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no greater, He swore by Himself,
(14) saying, “Surely in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply you.”
(15) And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
(16) For men truly swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.
(17) In this way desiring to declare more fully to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, God interposed by an oath,
(18) so that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us,
(19) which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil,
(20) where the Forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

God promised God on my behalf! Look at verse 18 where it talks of us having a strong consolation. This word “consolation” comes from the same word Jesus used when he said he would send us a Comforter. This “consolation” is the very Holy Spirit. A paraklete, (the picture is of a ship that comes alongside a sinking vessel and rescues those on board) We have a strong ship coming alongside us to rescue us from our fate. When my ship hits the bottom, I will not be with it, I am on the rescue ship! A rescue ship that is fully capable of this task.

My blood guilt has been paid by the perfect sacrifice made by the perfect High Priest who carried his own blood into the very Holy of Holies in Heaven (not the symbolic Holy of Holies in the earthly temple or tabernacle)

John says in 1 John chapter 2 that this Jesus is my advocate in Heaven now. Romans 8 says that the Holy Spirit intercedes to the Father from within me, because I don’t know how to pray.

I leave you with this passage:

Romans 8:26-39
(26) Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
(27) And He searching the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
(28) And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
(29) For whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be the First-born among many brothers.
(30) But whom He predestinated, these He also called; and whom He called, those He also justified. And whom He justified, these He also glorified.
(31) What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
(32) Truly He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
(33) Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
(34) Who is he condemning? It is Christ who has died, but rather also who is raised, who is also at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
(35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
(36) As it is written, “For Your sake we are killed all the day long. We are counted as sheep of slaughter.”
(37) But in all these things we more than conquer through Him who loved us.
(38) For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
(39) nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Praising Him,

Craig

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Responses

  1. […] posted about the covenant that God made with Abraham, and I want to direct readers to that post because I think it is important for Christians to […]

  2. […] wrote about the covenant that God made with Abraham, and I want to direct readers to that post because I think it is important for Christians to […]

  3. […] as God covered Adam and Eve with skins, we see it as God provided escape for Noah, we see it when God walks through the blood in Abram’s place. We see it when God provided for Joseph, and then Joseph’s family.  We see it as God prepared […]


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