February 13, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE TO:

BE MY SHIELD (part 4)

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.

Rewards motivate us. It starts at a young age. The sticker from our teacher at school, the trophy at the end of the season; or for me, dessert at the end of a meal. Something to work for, hope for, or look forward to. My family and I have a new puppy in our house right now. We are in the beginning stages of “training”. The way that works is giving a treat or reward to our new dependent when he does correctly and obeys. Let’s just say we have not been handing out very many rewards the last couple days. Anyway, the point is that all of us are motivated by rewards.

In verse one, God refreshes Abraham, reminds Abraham, and reinforces Abraham. And then God does something wonderful. God rewards Abraham. God claims to be Abraham’s exceeding, great reward. Now the Greek Word used here for reward is literally defined as follows; “payment of contract; concretely, salary, fare, maintenance; compensation, benefit, reward, wages, worth”. God has promised not just to Abraham, but also to us, to compensate us. God promised to pay out the honored contract. He has promised to pay our salary, gives us wages, and to maintain our needs. God has promised to be our reward.

What is confusing about that is the fact that God does not owe us a thing! We owe Him. God does not owe us wages. In fact, God paid the wages of our sins. If anything, we owe God wages. And God has nothing to compensate us for. He gave His only Son to die for us. Should we not compensate Him? Why do we deserve benefits, and why do we deserve a reward? The fact is we do not deserve anything from God.

As if that was not enough, we are told that God not only is our reward but that He is an exceeding, great reward. Now I could spend a week on each of those words but let me cut it short by telling you what that means. It means above and beyond “all we could ask or think”. This means we have been promised a reward, a reward that is far beyond what we could imagine, and we do not deserve any of it. That sounds like God doesn’t it?

So back to the beginning. Rewards motivate us. And may I say that this should motivate us. It is greater than a sticker, a trophy, and even dessert. Even greater than a Krispy Kreme, and that is pretty great.

Dear Abraham, I will be your shield, and you do not have to fear. But I also want you to have something to motivate you, to work towards, and to be excited about. I am, not will be, but am your exceeding, great reward. Love, God