After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.’
The ‘after this’ refers to the massive battle that Abram fought to rescue his nephew Lot from capture by a powerful army. He then passed up on any of the spoils of victory that he was offered, so that God would have the glory, rather than Abram’s allies.
‘After this,’ Abram meets the word of the LORD, and the LORD encourages him with these amazing words. What’s more, as people who trust in Jesus, the Word of the LORD, we can be equally encouraged ourselves!
‘I am your shield.’ We are often fearful aren’t we? We fear that people don’t like us, that we will fail our exams, that we won’t succeed, that something will go wrong, that we will get ill…there is so much we can be afraid of, and so much that we do to protect ourselves from what we fear. Ultimately, though, we need not fear, because the LORD is our shield. He is always with us and protecting us. Even if everyone turns against us, the LORD is with us, even if we fail everything, the LORD will not fail us and even if everything goes wrong, the LORD works all things for the good of those who love him. He is good, and he is with us.
‘I am . . . your very great reward.’ What do we really, really want? What is our deepest longing? An iPhone, an Aston Martin, a boyfriend, children? How much effort and time is spent on getting it? The LORD says, ‘I am your very great reward.’ If we trust in Jesus, God gives us the greatest treasure ever – he gives us himself. There is nothing that can truly satisfy the deepest longings of our heart except God. We were made to know and love him, and he has freely given us himself!