Fear Not, Abram, I Am Your Shield | Genesis 15:1
God speaks to Abram with grace, gentleness, and love. If Abram was afraid of Chedorlaomer returning to exact vengeance upon him, God promises to be his shield. If Abram was still concerned about the treasure that he refused from the king of Sodom, God reassures that his reward will be very great. This is how God responds to us as well. Too often, we become like Abram, questioning and doubting God and His promises, but God responds to us with love and grace.
After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
“Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”
Genesis 15:1 ESV
This is an interesting follow up to Abram’s militant exploits of the previous chapter. After coming into a decisive and miraculous victory from the hand of God, we would expect to see Abram exceedingly glad and rejoicing in the LORD, yet this is not the case. From a vision, God tells Abram not to be afraid. We can presume that God would only tell Abram this if Abram was actually feeling fearful.
The phrase “after these things” directly ties the present chapter with the former, so we have a good understanding of Abram’s circumstances. Perhaps Abram was considering the enemies that he made within chapter 14. He chases Chedorlaomer and his followers quite a distance; however, nothing prevented them from returning to enact vengeance upon Abram. Maybe Abram thought he made an enemy of the king of Sodom by declining his offer. Either way, it seems to me that Abram’s fearfulness likely resulted from being exhausted. In the events of chapter 14, Abram traveled great distances, and we can only imagine how long his campaign lasted. Exhaustion has a way of bringing to the surface all of our deepest fears.
It could be easy for us to read about Abram’s fears and wonder why the man of faith was so afraid. After all, if faith is trusting God, should a follower of God ever truly be afraid? Does not such fear indicate a lack of faith?