Abraham and God participated in a customary covenant ritual. There is widespread evidence that in the biblical world, animals were slaughtered in treaty contraction ceremonies. When the two involved parties walked between the rows of slaughtered animals, they committed to hold up their end of the deal; if they broke their promise, they would end up like the animals. Abraham may have planned on walking with God, but the text says Abraham went into a deep sleep and God took the blood walk alone in the form of a smoking firepot with a blazing torch. In essence, God signed the covenant for them both. God’s covenant with Abraham was based on who God was, not who Abraham was or what he would do. God showed the covenant would achieve its purpose no matter what.
Our obedience is not unimportant, but we are sinners and fail regularly. The Lord alone can keep the covenant perfectly.
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