Our Shield and Reward

After Abram had made such a grand decision — refusing all the king of Sodom had to offer — then the Lord appeared to him with these beautiful words, “Fear not, Abram: I am thy Shield and thy exceeding great Reward.”
How often we find these sweet words in the Scriptures, “Fear not.” If you are unsaved, dear young reader, this message is not for you. God does not say “Fear not” to you, but rather warns you of coming judgment. Will you take the Lord Jesus as your own per­sonal Saviour? Then His perfect love will cast out all your fears (1 John 4:1818For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. (John 4:18))? At Calvary all God’s righteous judgment against sin has been fully met, in order that poor sinners such as we might be brought into bless­ing. Abram’s faith looked forward to the cross — we can look back to it as a finished work.
The Lord Our Reward
God also said, “I am thy Shield,” and if God undertakes our cause, and pro­mises to protect us, all is well. If we know that God is for us, what a won­drous Shield we have! And He is our Reward too! Sodom’s king offered re­wards to Abram, and Belshazzar offered rewards to Daniel; the world will offer many rewards to you, too, dear boys and girls, if you go after them. May we be like Abram and Daniel, refusing them because the Lord Himself is our Reward. Then we can say like Paul, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:1414I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)). Could we have any better reward than this? An “exceeding great Reward” indeed!
Abram longed for a son, to be the heir of all God had promised him, and so he asked the Lord about it. What a beautiful reply he received from Him: “Look now toward heaven.” Oh, that in all our difficulties and problems, we, too, would learn to look toward heaven! Yes, we can ask the Lord’s help at any time, for He knows our needs.
What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear,
What a privilege to carry,
Everything to God in prayer.
God’s Covenant to Abram
God then promised Abram that his seed should be as the stars of heaven, and Abram believed it. Yes, that is faith! It means that we believe what God says, even though we cannot understand. If we could understand all of God’s ways, it would not require faith.
In making this covenant or promise of blessing, it had to be confirmed by means of death. The only way in which a righteous God can bless sinful man, is through the death of a Substitute, and so the death of these animals pointed on to the one perfect Sacrifice — the Lord Jesus who died for us on Calvary. The fowls of the air which would have come down on the carcasses, tell us of Satan (“the prince of the power of the air”), who has al­ways tried to hinder the purposes of God. In the energy of faith, Abram drove them away.
“A deep sleep ... and an horror of great darkness” fell upon him while the sun was going down. Abram was made to feel the solemnity of having to do with God. We are living in careless days, when we see very little real exercise before God. People think much too casually about sin, and its horribleness to a holy God. If you have never felt your sins, our prayer is that you may feel them now, until you cry out “God be merciful to me a sinner.”
Further Meditation
1. What was the Lord’s reply to Abram’s question about a son?
2. We are told to fear God, but then we are repeatedly told to “fear not”. What is the difference between the two kinds of “fearing”?
3. The pamphlet Fear Not by H. H. Snell would no doubt be a real encouragement to any believer.