Genesis Chapter 15 Summary

Genesis 16-17

Whatever we need and whatever weighs us down, God is waiting for us.

God’s Promise to Abram

Genesis 15

Chapter 15 is after Abram’s victorious defeat of armies who plundered and abducted Lot. Remember not to let down your guard after a victory because time to think can be dangerous. Abram could have thought, “What about the promise God made 10 years ago?” The promise could have seemed so long ago and unreachable. Maybe He forgot, or I disqualified myself.

Quote attributed to an unnamed missionary:

“Can’t think. Can’t read. Can’t pray. All I can do is trust. It was enough.”

Emotions are real and God-given, but they are not to control us and dictate our decisions.

The word of the Lord came to Abram and called him by name, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Genesis 15:1.

Abram had reason to be afraid. Because of God’s character, because of who He is, God confirmed once again His promise to Abram.

God reminds us of that He is a shield and rewarder of those who trust Him.

What am I fearful about? Jesus intercedes on my behalf, and He will guard me if I trust Him.

Where am I putting my faith? Am I trusting in my spouse, my doctor, my job, my family, or my government?

Following God will cost me something. But, wow! What I will gain! My reward is in Him.

Abram misunderstood. We often misinterpret a time lapse as a NO. Waiting is part of God’s instruction. (We teach our own children to wait.)

We always want God to fix things NOW! He is refining us.

What is God making me wait for? Am I waiting expectantly?

Before Abram did any service for God, God said, “I count you righteous.” (Genesis 15:6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness. NIV)

Have faith in the God of Abraham because He is the object of our faith. This was before the cross.

Abram didn’t know much, but He believed. God must have given him some revelation because Jesus said Abraham rejoiced in seeing the coming Messiah.

Stand on His word and stand on His faithfulness—the adequacy of God.

God’s Covenant with Abram

God counts genuine faith in Him as righteousness. No one is born right with God. We have all sinned and start out lost.

Right relationship with Jesus isn’t based on my doing, but my being.

Our sins were on Jesus’ back—moved over from our account to His.

Jesus’ placed his righteousness into my account. In Christ Jesus, we are declared righteous.

In ancient times, contracts and treaties were formalized via a ceremony rather than in writing. It was called cutting a covenant. An animal was divided in half along the spine, and the parties passed between the two halves. By doing so, they signify, “if I don’t do what I promised, may what happened to these animals, happen to me.”1

After Abram prepared the animals, he had to wait. He had to run off the vultures who tried to steal them.

How many times have we had to wait and run off the vultures?

Do not grow slack in waiting.


  • Others may be discouragers.
  • Satan will lie to us.
  • Thoughts of doubt will come.

We must keep our focus on Him. Trusting. Abiding.

God alone is the guarantor of the covenant and the one who qualifies us. God’s promises are HIS responsibility, and He alone will accomplish all that He has promised.

1 Enduring Word Commentary Online