With the backdrop now set, I want to speak specifically to the covenant and a marvelous revelation I had this week while in prayer. Read Genesis 15:9-12; 17-18:
9 So He [God] said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”
10 Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two.
11 And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
12 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him.
17 And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces.
18 On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram… (NKJV, brackets added for clarification)
Now note a few things. For one thing, God had Abraham take the initiative of setting up the covenant. He divided the larger animals and kept the smaller ones intact. He allowed their blood to completely empty out, which apparently took quite a while. Verse 12 says that the sun was going down before Abraham went to sleep, which makes sense given that he had to prepare three large animals and two smaller ones, plus he had to wait for the blood to empty. Also notice that the devil tried to stop the covenant. Birds of the air kept coming to devour the carcasses (verse 11), and Abraham had to chase them off while the blood spilled out. That’s an important tidbit to remember later.