Advent Devotional: Second Sunday of Advent

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Where Like Stars His Children Crowned

December 8, 2019

And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said…I will surely bless you, and…multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. Genesis 22:15-17 (see Genesis 22:15-18)

There is no better place to see the heavy price of God’s promise to redeem Adam and Eve and their descendants than through his covenant with Abraham.

Abraham’s offspring, God promised, would be as numerous as the stars. His family would grow into a mighty nation that would bless all the nations of the world. There was only one little problem: Abraham didn’t have any children yet. And, at 75, he wasn’t getting any younger!

When Abraham pointed out the huge gap between God’s promise and his reality, God answered by sealing his promises with his own blood. He directed Abraham to bring him a heifer, a goat, a ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon. Abraham cut each animal in half (with the exception of the birds) and laid them side by side, with space in between (Genesis 15:9-10).

Later, after the sun set, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between the halves of the carcasses. The sacrificed animals were symbols of the price that God would have to pay if the covenant was ever broken. God was saying, “May I be cut in two if I ever fail to fulfill this promise.”

Here is evidence of God’s redeeming love for humankind. In his covenant with Abraham—which promised blessing to all nations, like stars in the heavens—God invoked a curse upon himself for any failure to keep the covenant. Look at Christ’s journey from the manger to the cross, and there you will see his unbreakable commitment to save us at the cost of his own blood.

Reflective Question

Have you, like Abraham, ever asked God for reassurance in the fulfillment of a promise? What was his answer?

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