“After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, ‘Fear not, Abram. I Am thy shield, your reward shall be very great.”
I love that verse. Let me say it again. This is God coming to Abraham in a vision. This is Genesis chapter 15, a picture of God’s covenant with Abraham promised to bless Abraham and relationship with him. Here’s how it starts, “Fear not Abram.” What we see God saying to His people over and over and over again throughout His Word, “Do not fear. Do not fear.” Think about reading Matthew chapter 10 the other day, Jesus says it three times to His disciples as He’s talking about the persecution and challenges they will face in the world. He says, “Do not fear. Do not fear. Do not fear.” And He says it right here to Abraham, “Fear not.” For all who have faith in God, you never have reason to fear, but God. That’s a very different kind of fear than anything in this world. So, Fear not Abraham.”, “Why not?, “Because I Am your shield.” Think about that.
While it is easy to depend on ourselves, we choose to depend on God alone.
God’s saying to Abraham, “I Am your shield. I’m your protector. I’m your defense.” Who’s your defense? God. God is your defense. God’s saying, “Abram, I Am your defense, your protector, your guard, your reward.” And then He says, “Your reward shall be very great.” Some translations say, “I Am your shield, your very great reward.” Now, we know as we keep going on through this passage, that God is promising Abraham offspring, and land and blessing. Making him a great nation, what we’ve seen ever since Genesis chapter 12. But the picture here in Genesis chapter 15:1 is not just all the things that God will provide Abraham, offspring land, make him a great nation. The language literally points to God as Abraham’s great reward. “Fear not, Abram. I Am your shield, your guard, and I Am your reward.” I just want you to let that soak in for all who are in the line of Abraham, who have put your faith in God through Jesus.
I’m making that direct jump based on Romans chapter 4 specifically … although it’s all over the Bible, that Abraham’s faith in God’s promise here in Genesis chapter 12, and 15, and 22, all throughout this book, is the picture of faith for all who trust in Jesus, who believe in Jesus and the righteousness of God is credited to us. In this way, you and I are recipients of this promise. For all who have trusted in Jesus, His words to you today are clear, “Fear not.” I don’t know what’s going on in your life, I don’t know what you’re walking through, I don’t know what challenges you’re facing, you have no reason to fear. In a world where there’s a pandemic right now, you have no reason to fear. When you get COVID, you have no reason to fear. When you get cancer, you have no reason to fear. When you are facing death, you still have no reason to fear. The beauty is you’ve put your trust in the one who has conquered sin, and suffering and death. He’s your shield. God is your shield.
And not only is He your shield, but God is your reward. The reward of your faith is not just things, is not just even eternal life. The reward of your faith is God, is relationship with God. Oh God, we praise You for this reality today. I pray it over every single person listening right now, God, that no matter what people are walking through today, that they would fear not. That everyone with faith in You would fear not. God, if there’s anyone who has not put their faith in Jesus listening to this right now, God, I pray they would fear eternity apart from You. They would put their faith in You today, and through faith would have no fear. God, I pray that over all who put their faith in Jesus so they would know that You are their shield today, that You are their guard, that You are their protector, and that You are their reward. God, we pray that You would draw us into a deeper understanding today of the reward that is found in relationship with You.
God help us to see in Romans 8:31 kind of way if You are for us, who can stand against us? What can stand against us? Nothing. And in the process of seeing that You are for us, help us to realize that You are with us, that You are our reward. That we possess knowledge of, relationship with You, the God of the universe. God, help us to live in the fullness of this today, in the fullness of this reality that we need not fear for You are our shield, our very great reward. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.