In Genesis 15:1, Abraham has a vision. The text says,
“After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”” (Ge 15:1)
In his vision, God appears to Abraham. Of course, Abraham’s first reaction is fear — fear of judgment. Knowing Abraham’s thoughts, God says to him,
“Fear not, Abram, I am your shield.” (Gen. 15:1a)
In other words, God is telling Him that He is for him, He is his refuge and protection. As such, Abraham shouldn’t fear God’s judgment.
That’s true for us as well.
Those who are God’s need not fear His judgment
That is an awesome promise because it means those of us who are God’s know where we stand with Him. We are not left to wonder or worry. We don’t have to hope that we have done enough good works to escape God’s judgment. Those who are His know where they stand.
Those who are God’s Can Expose Their Life to Him
Knowing where we stand with God allows us to expose our life to Him without fear that He will use that against us, or change His mind and judge us. As well as it allows us to be honest with God, to truly share our feelings with Him. We don’t have to hold back. We can reveal sin in our lives, repenting of it, and asking Him for the strength to fight it. We can share with God what we are thinking. We can ask Him questions.
That is exactly what Abraham does. After God tells Abraham that He need not fear Him and that His reward shall be very great, Abraham is honest with God when he says,
““O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?””” (Ge 15:2)
You see, 10 years ago God promised Abraham that He would give him a son and that He would make him into a great nation. God hasn’t delivered on that promise yet. Since God hasn’t delivered, Abraham questions God. Essentially he is saying in verses 2 and 3,
“You have been promising me a reward for a while. I still don’t have the heir you told me I was going to have. The only one I have is Eliezer, who is my servant. Is he supposed to be my heir? Because, if I remember correctly God, You told me You were going to give me my own son?”
Calling God’s promise into question takes some guts. But, again, knowing that we don’t have to fear His judgment if we are His allows us to be honest with God.
Proof We Can Be Honest With God
God proves that we can be honest with Him, when He doesn’t respond in judgment. Instead, in verses 4 and 5, He responds lovingly, assuring Abraham that he will have a son of his own and he will become a great nation. So this will sink in, God takes him outside, tells him to look up at the uncountable stars in the night sky, and as he does, God tells him again that He will give him an heir and that the nation that will come forth from him will be greater than the stars in the sky that night.
Question for Reflection
- When is the last time you have been honest with God about how you feel, the sin you are struggling with, or the questions you have?
Post adapted from my sermon “What are the three foundational truths upon which the Christian life must be built?“ You can listen here.