After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; your reward shall be very great.” Genesis 15:1
God promising to protect and reward Abram, sounds great. But why…notice the beginning of the verse…after these things…
Abram had received a message that his nephew, Lot, who was living in Sodom, had been taken captive. He led out his trained men pursued and defeated the enemies. Abram brought back all the goods, Lot, his possessions, the women and all the people. The king of Sodom offered to let Abram keep all the goods for himself. Abram turned him down.
“I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take a thread of a sandal thong or anything that is yours, for fear you would say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ I will take nothing except what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me… Genesis 14:22-24
Abram had honored God by not taking the reward offered him. God promises Abram a very great reward. As I said that sounds great, but the reward Abram wants and expected from God was a son (remember the promise of descendants?). Abram is still childless. Below is God’s answer to Abram’s complaint.
…one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” The he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness… Genesis 15:4-5
Abram stayed true to his promise to God and turned down the King’s reward. God promised him a great reward. Will you turn down the “rewards” of the world and believe in the LORD to give you a great reward?
“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great...Matthew 5:12
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord christ whom you serve. Colossians 3:23-24