After Abram defeated the kings in chapter 14, he was in an excited state of consciousness. That's what the Hebrew word, machazeh, translated as vision, actually means. The word means to be so centered on something that everything else fades away, a kind of tunnel vision.
I can actually see Abram praising God, for the battle he just won, and the godly example, he just portrayed to the other kings. He was literally in seventh heaven. This is where God can touch man and man can listen to the voice of God. If you praise God with all your mind heart and soul and spirit, and pray with only him in mind, you, too, can hear the voice of God.
God reaffirms that he will be Abrams protector and greatest reward in life. That is, eternal life with God.
Also, here we have the Word of God, who later manifested in the flesh, as Y'shua, Jesus. Please let me explain what it means, to be manifested in the flesh. Every time God speaks, it is a promise, that you can take to the bank. It's like cash in the hand. When you read in the Gospel of John, that the Word of God manifested in the flesh, it means that God's promise became reality. In the case of Y'shua, Jesus, he was the promised Messiah that came to be, by the word of God.
In the same way that Y'shua, Jesus, was the promised Messiah, here we also have a promise that will be manifested in the future. One day, the descendants of Abraham will occupy the land that God is about to promise Abram. Therefore, it will be said that the Word of God manifested in the nation of Israel.
I just want to interject at this point that The name, Eliezer, means comforter. We'll use that later, in a few chapters, so keep it in mind.
During this time, if the master of the house did not have any children, all his possessions, including his spouse, went to his eldest servant, which was Eliezer of Damascus.
I do believe, that at this moment in time, Abram or Sarai was sterile, they were not able to have any children. However, because Abram exhibit great faith and works and truly believed God, he will be rewarded with a miracle, a son, an heir.
These type of rewards are available to us today, if we only commit ourselves wholly unto God.
Some people point to this statement as and example of a Braums lack of faith. Wanting proof from God. However, I believe this is a misinterpretation. If you look at the actual Hebrew, It says,
"Amar Adonai, Yahweh, mar yada yarash.
Word for word, it says,
"Vowing, Lord Yahweh, 'Here's how you may be assured of this possession."
God is reassuring Abram of this gift of his faithfulness, by way of a covenant.
God is using a form of making a covenant was very usual in Abram's contemporary culture, and thus Abram received the assurance of his inheritance by means of a ceremonial with which he was very familiar. In this type of covenant, two parties are said to cut or strike a covenant. This most solemn method of covenant, involving the severing of the bodies, was to represent the two parties; and as explained in Jeremiah 34:18-20, it sets forth the penalty of a broken covenant. It implied that the covenant-breaker would receive a destruction as complete as that which had befallen the slaughtered animals.
It was normal, that the two parties would then walk between the slaughtered animals, signifying a bilateral agreement between the two parties. However, God has a surprise for Abram.
Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
First, when Abram fell into a deep sleep, God gave him a prophesy, that Abrams descendants would go to a strange land, and be kept as slaves for 400 years. For this atrocity, God will punish this nation. As a result, Abram's descendants would come out with a great abundance of wealth. However, Abram would not see this happen. He will live to a good old age. The fourth generation, spoken of here, signifies that the average lifespan of these descendants would be 100 years.
It is interesting that God mentions the iniquity of the Amorites has not been completely dealt with. As a reminder, the Amorites are descendant from Ham, son of Noah. Ham performed a great sin against his father. This is a reminder to the descendants of Abram that they will have to deal with the Amorites. And sure enough, we will see that it will be the Canaanites, descendants of the Amorites, with which the descendants of Abram will have the most trouble with.
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. On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates— the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”
Back to the covenant....Now remember Abram is in a deep sleep and typically two parties normally pass through the cut pieces of the covenant. However, The Spirit of God, symbolized by the smoking oven and burning torch, passes through the pieces. God is making a unilateral agreement with Abram. Because of Abram's great faith, God will fulfill the requirements of this oath, covenant, by himself, even if Abram's descendants lack the faith of Abram and fall away from God, God will fulfill his promise.
Therefore, if anyone says that Israel is no more, or God is finished with Israel or the Church is the new Israel, please show them this covenant concerning the faithfulness of God. As a matter of fact, Israel has never occupied the land, promised to them by God. Hopefully, we will see the fulfillment of this covenant as depicted in the following drawing.