The first time someone reads this chapter, they might think “what in the world is going on here?” It is important to remember that in times past many customs that are very strange to us have come and gone. Abram is concerned because for one thing, he is not getting any younger, and he still has no children. God uses a ceremony making a covenant with Abram in the same way as was customary in that place and time. Basically, it meant that “if I do not live up to my end of the bargain, may the same thing be done to me as these animals.” God caused a deep sleep to come over Abram as “the smoking pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces” (v 17). These are clearly representative of God’s presence.
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com. For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.