“And when the sun was going down a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him” (Genesis 15:12).
Not many have had an encounter with God like that which befell Abram. The depth of the horror are not fully revealed, but the word of the LORD followed with a dire prediction of what would befall His Seed in Egypt. “And He said unto Abram, know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years” (Genesis 15:13).
Preceding this encounter was a wonderful promise concerning his seed; indeed, that Abram would have a son in his old age and his descendants would be as numerous as the stars of heaven, saying “so shall thy seed be” (cf. Genesis 15:4-5). Furthermore, Abram was given the promise that the land of his sojourn in Canaan would be given him as an inheritance (Genesis 15:8).
What we witness here in the encounter of Abram with God are the ways of the LORD. Those ways can be described succinctly, as Promise, Death, Burial and Resurrection [see Land of Promise, Chapter III, Hebron–Death, Burial, Resurrection].
Abram was entering into Covenant with Jehovah (see Genesis 15:9-11, 17-21). In the midst of cutting the covenant, the vision of the horror of great darkness occurred. This is just as deeply a part of the covenant relationship, as the promise. It is the way of the LORD.
Are you going through something with God right now? Are you confused because things are not going smoothly? Things are not as glorious as the promise seemed to indicate they would be? Understanding the ways of God will eliminate a lot of the anxiety, fear and torment of the “horror of great darkness,” the death to the vision, the burial of plans, and the oppression of enemies, opponents, and contrarians.
Peace, my brother, my sister, mi pastor, mon ami. Peace. The Land of Promise awaits. The Promises of God will be fulfilled. Believe in the LORD. Your faith will be “counted unto you for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6).
The LORD also said to Abram, “that nation whom the seed shall serve will I judge; and afterward the seed shall come out with great substance. In the fourth generation the seed shall come back to this Land” (Genesis 15:14,16). Read the Book. It happened just as was foretold. God is a faithful God. His promises do not fail. None of His words fall to the ground. They all come to pass.
Be encouraged. Be strengthened in your heart. Let your heart find faith. Worship and praise the LORD in all things. The way of the LORD always goes through the Cross. The horror of great darkness was there on Mount Calvary (Mark 15:33). Let the LORD have His way. He is faithful to keep the Covenant and bring you out to your inheritance in Him.