sheild and reward

There are in Genesis 15,  four statements that are made for the first time in the Bible that are of amazing import.  They are repeated many time afterwards but here in the story of Abraham they make their grand entrance.

Abraham after his defeat of a King that had plundered cities and taken his nephew and family prisoner, had returned to his place and probably terrified of what that King would do.  It was a good bet that a King in that position would return with another army and exact his revenge.  Abraham had been in the land that God had promised him for ten years and nothing had happened.  No child, no land, nothing that God had promised had come.  It was into this situation of relief at a battle won and fear of a battle yet to be, of promises made that had not been kept, that kind of twilight between exhilaration and exhaustion and depression that “the Word of the Lord came”  I take that to mean that Christ came because Christ is “the Word of the Lord”.  Christ came with a word of strength and peace and assurance.  For the first time in the Scriptures the Word of the Lord came.

For the first time a command is made that will ring out through the centuries.  It will be spoken to Moses and Gideon and frightened Prophets and frightened disciples and to us at the end of the age – “don’t be afraid”.

For the first time God is called our” shield and great reward”.

For the first time the word “believed” is used in terms of trusting and saving faith.  Centuries later Paul the Apostle would write that “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.”