Gang, consider Genesis 15, and some details thereof. Pasted here for your convenience.
“After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”But Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.”And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.”And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
And he said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.”But he said, “O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?”He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half.And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him.Then the LORD said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years.But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions.As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age.And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.”
(Genesis 15:1–17 ESV)
Three things. First, verse 1 claims the message came through a vision. It is possible that Abram was talking to the L-rd for some time in the vision. Those of you that do not believe visions happen, well, Acts 2 says otherwise.
Secondly, the stars were out in verse 5, which can mean that the stars are part of the vision. This excursus reeks of unusual phenomena, if we consider the context, namely, that the sun and other markers of daytime (birds of prey, for example) were out en masse. So, G-d possibly caused time to flow differently such that Abraham saw night, day, and then night again rapidly, or the rest of the story is not told, or this whole interaction was a vision which Abraham saw in sequence, and he operated as though he were entranced.
Thirdly, given a deep sleep fell upon Abram in verse 12, it is possible the vision stopped at verse 9.
Fourthly, sleep came to Abram before dreadful and great darkness. I would call this “dreadful and great darkness” an expression of outer darkness.
Fifthly, even in the midst of scary and assaultive outer darkness, G-d still came and still brought the illumination of revelation, and the light of His beingness to Abram.
Let the reader understand. G-d may allow you to be assaulted and attacked fiercely by hot battle such that you cannot see which way is up, but He will be there present in the midst of the darkest void of light. He will come, and He will shine with His truth, to keep your rudder amidships, and to keep your yaw, pitch, and roll in proper alignment.
He is the L-rd Your Rudder, the L-rd Your Ailerons, the L-rd Your Elevator, and the L-rd Your Stabilizer.
He can flood you with stability, and a thousand sheared enemies shall fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come nigh thy dwelling (Psalm 91:7).
He is indeed the L-rd Your Smoking Firepot and Flaming Torch, the One Who Passes Between the Pieces and Restores His Cause In You (Genesis 15:17). He will stand in the breach and the division of seas, and the broken tablets, and broken covenant, and He will be the Covenant-Maker (Father), Covenant-Keeper (Son), and the Covenant Restorer (Holy Spirit: Isaiah 58:12).