And he said to him, I am the LORD that brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it.…
I. THE DIVINE PROOF OF THE FULFILMENT OF GOD'S PROMISES. The divided heifer, etc. Christ's broken body the Divine proof.
II. CHASTENED HOPES. God has to close the avenues of nature to reveal the purposes of grace. And the hopes are chastened — a "horror of great darkness" and servitude for four hundred years: here is the dark background, and it is in every picture of earthly hopes. But the end is victory — judgment on every foe and great substance. We are in the tunnel now, but we are fast emerging into the glorious sunny landscape.
III. THE CROSS OF CHRIST AND ITS BLESSINGS. We look now at the nature of that sacrifice Abram had been told to prepare, and his connection with it. In it we behold the Cross of Christ, and the believer's connection with it. First of all we see it is a covenant, and made by God with Abram — "In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram." And the promise passes over into a fact. The Lord does not now say "I will give," but "I have given" (ver. 18). The "same day" — thus are the Cross, the covenant, and the believer all bound up together. And mark the three things — the "pieces," the "smoking furnace," and the "burning lamp." The "pieces" represent the suffering Jesus. The "smoking furnace" — our portion in Him, the sufferings and trials of the Cross. The "burning lamp" — God's light and promises and blessings in the midst of it all. Every believer is between those "pieces," hid in the wounded side of Jesus. Every believer there knows it is a "smoking furnace," a place of suffering and trial. Every believer too has his "burning lamp" there — the light of God's presence and His joys. And observe, it "passed between those pieces." This mingling of the joy and the sorrow is not abiding; it is "passing." The "smoking furnace" will soon be over, and issue in everlasting joy. The "burning lamp" is quickly passing, and we shall soon enter into the glorious sunshine. Are you between those pieces — bearing Christ's Cross — looking to that which is the spring and source of all your mercies?
(F. Whitefield, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.