Pastor’s Letter – April 17, 2020 – Our Shield and 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

Dear Church and Friends,

We think we walk alone. Does the Lord really pay attention to the ups and downs, the joys and fears? In Genesis 15:1 we find out that the Lord knows all about our fears long before we are able to voice them.

He tells Abram, who just came off the victory over the kings, not to be afraid. Why would the Lord tell a war hero not to be afraid? As it turns out, Abram was scared of something else, not having a son. He says to Abram:

  • Fear not Abram. He knows. He knows before we know. His command not to fear is not based on some strength in the man. Rather, it is based in a satisfaction of who God is. We see in the rest of the verse just how the Lord tailors that information for Abram.
  • I am thy shield. The patriarch used a shield in battle. It blocked arrows, spears, and sword thrusts. A specific tool for a very specific task. However, the Lord says that he is Abram’s shield, not for warfare but for the fight of life.
  • and thy exceeding great reward. Sara’s husband complains that he doesn’t have a son, yet. The Lord says, I am your “reward” which dwarfs the temporary gain of a child. Remember that the king of Sodom wanted to give Abram a reward but the patriarch refused. Now the Lord promises an eternal reward which makes everything else seem so vain.

Let’s embrace this vision today. He is our shield during a time when we need a shield from so many enemies. He is our reward. “Our hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name.”

Prayer: Please pray for the people of North Japan. The request comes from the IMB Prayer page.

  • “Trying to share the gospel with 90-year-old people is a challenge. However, God has provided a way,” said a member of the North Japan Team. “Two women that attend our monthly evangelistic outreach event were remarking on ways to keep their mental facilities healthy. My husband pulled out a couple of condensed Bibles. We all read the first few pages out loud together. Since the they were easy to read, the ladies were happy to accept the Bibles. They planned to read them for 10 minutes out loud each day to exercise their voices and minds. We followed up each week with them. Though they have both fallen short of reading each day, they continue to read with us when we visit. One teared up when she read about God strengthening the fainthearted. She had been hearing talk from her neighbors about our visiting so often and reading the Bible with her. Pray that these ladies will not fear their neighbors’ “talk” but believe and trust in Jesus.”

Music: He Leadeth Me, Fountainview Academy Choir and Orchestra.

Catechism: The Principles of the Christian Religion.

  • Question 75: What is the fourth commandment?
  • Answer: Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
  • Question 76: What does this commandment require?
  • Answer: That we keep holy the Sabbath day; by resting from the ordinary business of this life, and bestowing that leisure upon the exercises of religion, both public and private.

“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

All my best.

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?

Genesis 15:2

Published by David B. Smith

Author, podcaster, pastor, and Big Pappa to my grandchildren.

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