An exceeding great reward
‘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.’ Genesis 15:1
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Habakkuk 3:17–19
The promise expresses the believer’s happiness: thy exceeding great reward. On this ground faith rejoices and says, The Lord is my portion [Lamentations 3:24].
Thy reward: this does not import any desert on our parts. The smallest mercy is of undeserved grace—much more when he gives us himself. But it is a reward, a full amends:
(i) for all we leave for him. To be the Lord’s will cost us something. Some sacrifices must be made. But O how are those overpaid who have him. They are all of St Paul’s mind and count everything loss and dung that they may win Christ [Philippians 3:7–8].
(ii) for all we can suffer for him. The world may hate and despise. It may cost a man his life for his attachment to Jesus. But to lose our life in this cause is to save it.
Exceeding great. What words can express it? Happy soul who hast the Lord for thy portion. You may rejoice with Habakkuk in the God of your salvation, though everything else is blasted and comfortless around you [Habakkuk 3:17–18]. Rejoice in your privileges. He will guide you while here with his counsel, refresh you with his presence, support you with his arm. Hereafter, he shall receive you to his glory, wipe away all your tears, exceed all your desires, seat you near himself, and so you shall be with him for ever. Was Thomas filled with rapture and love when he saw him return from the grave? What then will you say when you shall see him as he is, when he shall own your worthless name before assembled worlds and say, Come ye blessed [Matthew 25:34]?
FOR MEDITATION: You that see your need of an Almighty Shield, that be happy with nothing less than the Lord himself: fear not—he that has begun the good work will increase it. Pray him to bless the means which he has appointed to strengthen your weak faith. By and by you shall be enabled to say, My beloved is mine and I am his [Song of Solomon 2:16].
SERMON SERIES: GENESIS, NO. 29 [5/5], GENESIS 15:1