Abram, (later to receive the ‘new’ name of ‘Abraham), must have been afraid, because “…the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying “Fear not, Abram…” (Gen 15:1).
I keep reading over and over again, “the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying “Fear not, Abram.” In a vision? “What does that look like? …the word of the LORD coming in a vision?
All I know is, the only vision I have right now are the written words in front of my eyes, in this Holy Book, and the vision says: “Fear not!”
“FEAR NOT”, God’s word says, but, quite frankly, we become afraid! “Fear not, Toni.” “Fear not, Laurie.””Fear not, Amy.” “Fear not, Joe.” “Fear not, Jenny.” “Fear not, Paul.” etc, etc. I am not sure what ‘vision’ this could have possibly have been, but God’s word speaks, and if we take the time to open up His word, the words are right there in full view: “Fear not!”
And what is fascinating- ‘the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision’, it is told: “After these things…” (Gen. 15:1). After WHAT things?
Well, #1, after courageous moves on the part of Abram, he gathered trained servants from his own house to rescue his nephew Lot who was taken captive by foreign kings. #2, Abram and his house courageously fought a ‘war’ to win back his ‘brother’ and succeeded! #3, Abram was met by Melchizedek king of Salem’ who ‘brought forth bread and wine’ and then Melchizedek blessed Abram! #4, Abram payed him tithes and offerings. (Gen 14:18-20.) This was a huge victory! These were amazing ‘things’! So, it is after all of THIS, that “the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Fear not Abram!”
Abram had great victory in His life, but now, the word of the LORD for him is:”Fear not!” Abram had fear! You and I become afraid, even after God has done amazing things in our life! But we can learn so much about God through the stories, and we can learn so much about Abram, and yes, ourselves as well…
“After these things…” There is even more! Before the courageous ‘war’ that Abram fought with the ‘army’ that he had put together, and the ‘blessing’ that he had received, Abram, #1, let his nephew choose first from all of the land he was given by the Lord. Lot chose to pitch his tent toward Sodom. , Then #2, Abram chose to ‘come and dwell in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and,” #3, “(he) built an altar to the LORD.'(Gen. 13: 18). Abram chose to dwell in Mamre which means a place of ‘fatness’ and Hebron which means ‘communion’, “…and #4, he built an altar to the LORD.” Gen.13:-8).
Abram was a worshiper of God. (There is no mention of Lot having devotion with God, but it is recorded more than once that Abram worshiped God.) And NOW Abram has fear? I always wonder what the ‘faith and prosperity’ teachers do with these stories? Abram had fear, yet he was the father of faith. God was with him!
So, back to: “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 exceeding great reward.”
Abram made choices of communion with God and worship. I am encouraged that this ‘father of faith’ needed encouragement not to fear: “Fear not Abram, I am your shield and exceedingly great reward.” (Gen 15:1).
God is so very patient with me and with you. How do I know? Because I can look at Abraham! His next words to the Lord were: “Lord GOD, what will you give me, seeing I go childless, and …”(then Abram let’s God know how he sees the situation). It’s almost as if he didn’t even hear the words, “I am your shield and exceedingly great reward.” I am like that as well, I am so focused on the situation, I can’t even ‘see’ what God’s word is saying!
But God…His ways are not our ways! The word is powerful, the word is transforming. Do you remember what God did for Abram? “He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” (Gen. 15:5). God keeps His promises. God shares His story in the richest Book in the world for all eyes to see in full vision. And you know what Abram did next?“…And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” (Gen. 15:6).
“Lord, I have heard your word in a vision, yes, me, Your ‘fearful’ child. I choose to believe You LORD. I will choose to believe what is true, that You provide for Your children, that You protect Your children, and that Your promises are true. Will You help my unbelief? Thank you Jesus, that Your love is patient and kind! I can ‘see’ it just in reading Your Book and watching Your people. Help me spend time in Your Word and ‘see’ in a vision Your voice speaking to me. In Jesus Name, Amen.” How about you? Is this your prayer too?