February 12, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE TO:

BE MY SHIELD (part 3)

Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

FEAR NOT! That is a bit abrupt, and it seems a bit lacking in compassion. I mean Abraham just had to fight a battle along with the stress of trying to save his family and his own possessions. It was a rough day. He was probably as stressed out as I get when I have to order for a family of five at the fast food drive-thru. I think I would rather go snorkeling in a septic tank than to give a complicated, detailed order for five different people to your average fast food employee at the other end of a fast food speaker system. Sorry, I got a little flustered there. (I mean why can’t they understand the phrase “no tomatoes” on my burger)

Anyway! This is the first time in scripture that God specifically tells someone to “Fear not”. There is one thing here in this verse that draws everything together. Notice how “personal” that God is here with Abraham. First, God speaks to Abraham in first person. God calls him by name, “Fear not, Abraham”. Then God makes it clear that He is “thy shield”, and “thy..reward”. How personal is that? Abraham, I know you, I will protect you, and I will reward you. God makes this personal. Abraham, I am your shield. Abraham, I am your reward. Whoever might be reading this today, put your name in those phrases in place of Abraham. God has promised to be those things for you.

It is so wonderful that God is a personal God. He is not just the great Shepherd, He is your shepherd. He is not just a great shield, He is your shield. We are not just another number in God’s directory. He knows us, loves us, protects us, and rewards us. You should be encouraged today that God knows exactly who you are, God knows exactly where you are, and God knows exactly what you need. It’s personal!

God is trying to explain to Abraham that the reason he is to “fear not”, is because God is his shield. It is interesting to me that the Hebrew word used here for shield means what you would expect. It means that God is our protector, Buckler, defense, etc. However, part of the Strong’s Concordance definition of the word for shield says “also the scaly hide of the crocodile”. I do not know if you are excited about what I just said, but I sure am. The scaly hide of the crocodile protects the crocodile from many things. Water, brush, leaves, trees, and even animals roll right off the crocodiles skin. It is so tough that nothing penetrates it. In fact, as you know, the hide of crocodiles are in great demand to put on shoes, belts, purses, and many other things, because it is so durable. Like water off of a crocodile’s back: troubles, trials, and burdens can roll right off of us. The words of people do not have to penetrate us. The fear of today’s burdens and tomorrow’s battles can be repelled. Why? Because God is our “shield”. That is why the Bible says “ Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them”. God is not saying that things will not hurt our feelings, He is saying that they do not have to penetrate us. They do not have to cause damage.

Have you allowed fear, or hurt feelings, to penetrate you? Have you allowed them to cause damage? You do not have to let that happen. Let God be your shield. Let God do what He has offered to do. Let God shield you from that.