I Am Your Shield
Gen. 15:1 - 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."
When it comes to "combat" in our home, we have seen multiple kinds of hand-made weapons and armor. We have seen cardboard-box armor, capes and blankets that become "invisibility cloaks", and hand-held shields fashioned from frisbees and tape. When each tool is completed, the wearer is confident that their new tool will make then invulnerable to any kind of imagined attack! In Gen. 15:1, God decided that Abram needed to be reminded who really protected him like a shield.
Gen. 15 records God speaking with Abram after the rescue of his nephew, Lot, and the inhabitants of Sodom (Gen. 14). If you were Abram, what temptations do you think would have shown up after a victory like that? Maybe Abram could have been tempted to think more of the part he played in Lot's deliverance than he should have. He could have begun to trust in himself, thinking things like, "If it weren't for me and my household, Lot would't even be here right now!" Or possibly, after witnessing God so actively at work blessing his nephew and his nephew's city, Abram might have been tempted to become jealous, develop self-pity and doubt God's promise. He could have thought, "God helped these people, but where is my promised heir?" Whatever his possible struggles were, God decided it was time to remind Abram of two things:
TRUTH #1 - GOD WAS ABRAM'S SHIELD
"Fear not Abram, I am your shield." As one author has explained, the word "fear" is a word of worship. We build our lives around what we fear/revere. With this sentence God is reminding Abram who his life, and who his trust, should be based on: God! He should not pridefully become self-reliant, he needed to remember that it was God who had made his rescue attempt successful (Gen. 14:20). Like Abram, we need to remember that our help comes from the Lord (Ps. 121), not from our own wisdom or strength.
TRUTH #2 - GOD WOULD REWARD ABRAM
"Your reward shall be very great." Instead of becoming jealous of Lot when watching God at work in his nephew's life, he needed to remember that God had spoken a promise to him, and that God is faithful to keep his promises. Instead of becoming jealous of God's activity in another's life and then doubt God, he should have considered what he saw God do in the life of Lot as confirmation that he was in fact at work! Abram should have allowed that fact to strengthen his faith that God was busy in his life too, even if he didn't know how.
In moments of trial, but also in moments of ease and especially following moments of victory, we need to remember the same truths Abram was given; (1) that God should be our shield, and (2) God will faithfully keep his promises!