Summary: Do you see The Lord as your reward, more valuable than all earthly gains?
GENESIS 15:1-15 AMP
“After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; Your reward [for obedience] shall be very great.” Abram said, “Lord GOD, what reward will You give me, since I am [leaving this world] childless, and he who will be the owner and heir of my house is this [servant] Eliezer from Damascus?” And Abram continued, “Since You have given no child to me, one (a servant) born in my house is my heir.” Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man [Eliezer] will not be your heir but he who shall come from your own body shall be your heir.” And the LORD brought Abram outside [his tent into the night] and said, “Look now toward the heavens and count the stars--if you are able to count them.” Then He said to him, “So [numerous] shall your descendants be.” Then Abram believed in (affirmed, trusted in, relied on, remained steadfast to) the LORD; and He counted (credited) it to him as righteousness (doing right in regard to God and man). And He said to him, “I am the [same] LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land as an inheritance.” But Abram said, “Lord GOD, by what [proof] will I know that I will inherit it?” So God said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” So Abram brought all these to Him and cut them down the middle, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds. The birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away. When the sun was setting, a deep sleep overcame Abram; and a horror (terror, shuddering fear, nightmare) of great darkness overcame him. God said to Abram, “Know for sure that your descendants will be strangers [living temporarily] in a land (Egypt) that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years. But on that nation whom your descendants will serve I will bring judgment, and afterward they will come out [of that land] with great possessions. As for you, you shall [die and] go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age.”
A. Fear Will Spoil the New Year for Many
(1) Fear is common to all, the first evidence of the Fall (Gen 3:10).
(2) Fear robs life of adventure and joy , bringing gloom instead of gladness.
B. Note the First "Fear Not" in the bible.
(1) It was given to Abram, the man of faith.
(2) Fear and faith are opposites; as faith increases, fear decreases.
(3) Sometimes, like Abram, we experience fear after a great victory.
C. A Promise Was Given to Abram to Overcome His Fears
A. Note the Person Making This Promise
1. A promise is only as good as the person making it
2. This promise is from The Lord (a) He is the One who made heaven and earth (Ps 121:2)
(b) He is the One who cannot lie Titus 1:2)
(c) He is the One who can do anything but fail (Jer 32:17; Luke 1:37).
3. We can stand securely on the promises of God (a) God's promises will hold when trouble comes (b) Let the promises of God drive your fears away.
4. Every problem we'll face this year is covered by the promises of God.
5. We can enter the year with confidence in our unfailing God.
B Note the Protection Accompanying This Promise.
1. "I am thy shield
2. Moses told Israel they had been saved by The Lord, their shield (Deut 33:29)
3. David called The Lord his shield (a) "Our help and our shield" (Ps. 33:20) (b) " The Lord God is a sun and shield" (Ps 84:11).
4. "The Christian still finds light and shelter in The Lord his God, a sun for happy days and a shield for dangerous ones" (Spurgeon).
5. Faith in God shields us from Satan's attacks (Eph. 6:16).
6. Solomon said God is a shield to those who trust in Him (Prov. 30:5)
C. Note the Prospects Resulting from This Promise.
1. "I am thy ...exceeding great reward"
2. Abram had refused the rewards of the king of Sodom (a) Abram with 318 servants had rescued Lot and others from Chedorlaomer (chap.14)
(b) He could have had great rewards for this rescue but turned them down.
(c) Could he now have been having second thoughts about this ?
3. The Lord would be greater reward to him than anything he could have received.
4. Do you see The Lord as your reward, more valuable than all earthly gains?