When God established His covenant with Abram, (later Abraham), to seal His promise He “cut covenant” with Abram. The custom went something like this. An animal was cut in half and each half was placed on either side of a pathway. The two parties making the covenant would then pass together through the bloody half’s of the animal. This covenant carried with it a two fold promise. First, they promised to both walk in accord with the covenant they were making. Second, to break this covenant would mean that the person doing so would suffer the same fate as the animal they were walking between.
But this covenant between Abram and God was different. Everything was in order; the halves of the carcass had been laid out on the edges of the pathway. But God had put Abram to sleep. Gen. 15:12-21. As Abram slept, God walked the path alone.
Here is how the writer of Hebrews describes the scene, “For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” Heb. 6:13, 14.
There would be no chance for human failure no room for weakness or uncertainty. God would see to it that His promise was fulfilled.
In there book “Furious Pursuit” Why God Will Never Let You Go, Tim King and Frank Martin describe what this means to the security of those who follow Christ.
“When God walked between the severed animal pieces, he was saying to us, “This has never been about your faithfulness; it’s about my faithfulness. It’s not about your strength, your ability to remain in covenant with me. It’s about my strength, my ability, my love, my resolve to save you. I pledge to fight for you, to stay in relationship with you, to walk with you no matter what, from now until eternity.”
Because of the sacrifice of Christ we are heirs of this covenant and the faithfulness of God as well. Paul said this about His faithfulness, “Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” II Tim. 2:11f. The only way to break our relationship with Christ is to walk away from it. We can disown Him and He will disown us. But if we are unfaithful, make mistake, struggle, and more…He is faithful.