Answers to Correspondents: Gen. 15:9-17; Rod is Ex. 4:2; Ex. 37:7?

Genesis 15:9‑17; Exodus 4:2; Exodus 37.7  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 13
A.—The scene that these verses describe is God's answer to Abraham's inquiry with reference to the land that He had promised him, " whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? " The teaching is plainly enough this, that the covenant that God made with Abraham was based on death, typically that of Christ, and the driving away of the birds by Abraham was the energy of faith that protected the sacrifice from defilement, as being the foundation upon which everything rested. Then in the deep sleep, with its horror of great darkness, Abraham enters in spirit into death, as an experience of soul through which all his seed, as father of the faithful, would have to pass before they would know God's deliverance for them based on Christ's death-the only way of blessing being death and resurrection. But beside in conscience passing through death in its terrifying power before peace is known, there is the subsequent " bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord." All this is learning death practically in its application to our own condition in the flesh, and has its type in Abraham's hour of great darkness. In verse 13 God tells Abraham, during his deep sleep, that after suffering for 400 years in the land of the stranger, his seed should be brought out with " great substance into the land He had promised to them, but that while going, through this trial of affliction, He Himself would be with them as a " furnace " of fire that would consume all in them unsuited to Himself, and as a "lamp" of light to guide them in the time of darkness, before the blessing came. This has had a partial fulfillment in Israel's history already, but it will have its full and final accomplishment during the time of " Jacob's trouble " before they possess the land under the new covenant. For us this answers to Heb. 12:2929For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:29), and 1 Peter 2:77Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, (1 Peter 2:7). The furnace and lamp passing between the pieces of the victims, shows how God can be with His people in these characters, which is really pure blessing, as being with them according to all efficacy of Christ's death as meeting all questions of sin and judgment; and, with this, how in a covenant of death He binds Himself to the accomplishment of His promises.
A.-The rod is the emblem of power, which having been first committed to man (Adam) has become in his hands Satanic. God reclaims this power, and puts it back into man's hands (here typically Christ), as His power for the blessing of His people, and the judgment of His enemies. To trace the history of this recovered rod, is most blessed and interesting.
Q.—What is to be learned from Ex. 37:77And he made two cherubims of gold, beaten out of one piece made he them, on the two ends of the mercy seat; (Exodus 37:7): "Two cherubims of gold beaten out of one piece "? J. M. H.
A.-The cherubims are the emblem of the judicial power of God, and we first find them in Gen. 3:2121Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them. (Genesis 3:21), where they are seen using the flaming sword of judgment against man, to keep him away from the tree of life, really from the presence of God Himself. Here they are the supporters of the throne of mercy, and God's claims in judgment against man having been satisfied by the blood, the judicial power of God is the shelter beneath which man can approach God, " and there," as God says to Moses, " will I meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat, from between the two Cherubims." Beaten out of one piece of gold, means simply that the power is divine, and, though varied in display, exercised in the unity of the Godhead. The cherubims will have their full display in Christ by-and-by. " The Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son... and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.
C. W.