GOD’s Shield And Reward Revelation – Abram Encouraged By GOD (G-15-HBS)

GOD’S REVELATION OF HIMSELF AS SHIELD AND REWARD

We come to one of the high points of the Bible here in chapter 15.

Genesis 15:1-5 KJV

[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.

[2] And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?

[3] And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

[4] And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

[5] And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

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.


  • God’s first words fear not imply that Abram is afraid of something—perhaps the jealous neighbors noted in the Lesson Background.
  • God can respond to Abram’s insecurity in a variety of ways. He can reprimand Abram for bringing Lot along in the first place.
  • He can give Abram the silent treatment and allow him to stew in his own juices of insecurity.
  • He can congratulate Abram for his great military potential and encourage him to accomplish whatever he puts his mind to.
  • But God does none of these things.
  • Instead, He calms Abram’s fears with a reminder that God alone is the source of Abram’s protection (shield) and prosperity (great reward).
  • In identifying himself as Abram’s shield, God informs Abram that his security is not rooted in military prowess or in strategic alliances with neighboring peoples.
  • This is an important lesson that the Israelites of the future will forget.
  • In identifying himself as Abram’s reward, God is affirming Abram’s decision in Genesis 14:21–24 not to keep the spoils of war that were rightfully his according to ancient custom.
  • In that act, Abram showed his trust in God as his source of prosperity.

Genesis 15:2

And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?


  • Protection and possessions are not Abram’s only concerns.
  • He takes advantage of this unique opportunity to converse with God by raising a larger issue: it appears that the heir to his possessions and the promise will be a household steward, a certain Eliezer of Damascus.

Genesis 15:3

And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.


  • What Abram is saying to God is this:
  • “I don’t want more riches; I don’t need that. The thing that’s on my heart is that I’m childless and I want a son. You have promised to make me a father of nations and that my offspring will be as numberless as the sand on the seashore. But I don’t even have one child!”
  • According to the law of the day, the Code of Hammurabi, Eliezer, his steward, his head servant, who had an offspring, would in time inherit if Abram did not have a child.

Genesis 15:4

And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.


  • God makes it clear that Eliezer will not be Abram’s successor. On the contrary, Abram’s own child-to-be will be the heir.
  • Notice, however, what God does not say: He does not say who will be the mother.
  • In ancient society, it is common practice that if a man’s wife cannot have children, then a man may have children through one or more of his wife’s servants (as in Genesis 30:1–6).
  • This possibility will indeed be tried by Abram and Sarai before God later reveals that Sarai will be the mother (17:15, 16).

Genesis 15:5

And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.


  • God uses a visual aid to remind Abram of the massive scope of the future that God has planned for him.
  • Earlier, God used the illustration of the dust of the earth to show how many descendants will come from Abram (Genesis 13:16).
  • Now God shows him the stars of the sky.
  • Abram has no telescope, of course.
  • In that respect, we can see many more stars than he could.
  • But Abram has the advantage of not having artificial lighting to block his view.
  • It is difficult for modern city-dwellers to see just how many stars Abram can see in his day!

ABRAHAM’S FAITH

This is one of the greatest statements in the Scriptures: “And he believed in the LORD.”

What this means is that Abram said amen to God. God has said, “I will do this for you,” and Abram says to God, “I believe You. Amen. I believe it.”

And that was counted to him for righteousness.

Genesis 15:6 KJV

[6] And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Genesis 15:6

And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.


  • Since God originally made His promise to Abram, that man has relocated to a distant country, avoided a drought by laying over in Egypt, and secured an improbable military victory.
  • Yet Abram still seems no closer to having an heir. Even so, Abram believes God!
  • The God who has taken him thus far will finish what He began. This kind of faith is an example for God’s people in all generations (Romans 4:3, 9, 22; Galatians 3:6).
  • Abram’s righteousness is not based on the number of sacrifices he offers, prayers he prays, victories he wins, or deeds he performs.
  • His right standing before God is rooted in his unswerving faith that God keeps His promises.
  • This does not mean, of course, that Abram’s deeds are irrelevant.
  • If Abram had never put one foot in front of the other in response to his beliefs, had he not packed up and headed for Canaan to begin with, then his belief in God’s faithfulness would have proven hollow (James 2:20–24).

I hope that you have really enjoyed this post,

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