Tracy and Marilyn

Devotional 14th March 2019

Know for certain

‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward’ Genesis 15:1

Genesis 15 describes an amazing encounter between Abram and God following Abram’s dramatic rescue of Lot and his family after they had been taken captive. (Chapter 14) It says ‘the word of the Lord came to Abram’. I wonder what Abram expected when he became aware that God was speaking to him? The first words he heard were, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram.’

‘Do not be afraid’, this is a message for us today too. Fear can hit us at so many levels and come from so many sources. Some of us manage to rise above it quickly and even make a lifestyle of confronting any fears that dare to raise their heads. Others become anxious and every circumstance is fear inducing. Abram was strong and had just achieved a great victory in rescuing Lot, but maybe he was the kind of man who would react fearlessly to danger but then worry into the small hours?

The wonderful thing is that God knew his fears even though they may not have been apparent outwardly. So he spoke to him by name ‘Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield, your very great reward.’

Through those words God was promising Abram ‘I will protect you, I will watch over you, I will go ahead of you and behind you, I will surround you with my love and care and I will be your reward, not just any reward but a very great reward. As you look to me I will bring you the deepest joy and heart fulfilment you could ever experience. I will provide for all your needs; I will satisfy you and show you my great pride in you; I will do things for you that are beyond what you can ask or imagine.’

All these promises and more were encompassed in those few words with which God opened the encounter and they were not just promises for Abram but for each one of us too, for we are all, through Abram, inheritors of the promise.

Abram’s reaction to these words was much like ours. He was awed and amazed and yet very aware that there was a gap between his human situation and God’s words. He couldn’t have children so where did that leave him in relation to God’s promises?

A really important thing when we are faced with irreconcilable truths like this is to do what Abram did - talk to God about it, share our uncertainties and puzzles with Him, ask Him how his promises can be made real….

So Abram started talking with God, saying that as he had no children he would make one of his servants his heir. How else could God’s promises be fulfilled?

But as Isaiah expresses, God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours and He always wants to give us a heavenly rather than an earthly perspective. He gave Abram a visual promise: ‘Look up at the heavens and count the stars…So shall your offspring be!’ God spoke through creation to give Abram faith in the miracle that was to come. Later in the same encounter he also spoke with a specific prophetic revelation of how Abram and his descendants would surely inherit the land as their own after great trials, declaring ‘know for certain ….’He wanted Abram’s faith to rest on the truth of His word and promise, that even if trials came as they surely would, that God had spoken and his promise was certain.

This is for us too. Will we choose, as Abram did, to ‘know for certain’ that God is faithful to fulfil all He has promised? Will we live in that faith with our ears and eyes always open to the higher revelation that He wants to share with us?

May you have a blessed encounter with the Lord who loves you today.

Tracy Williamson

I am your shield I am your shield