Abraham, with his small band of 318 trained men from his household, had just defeated the four kings led by Kedorlaomer and their armies—armies that had routed five local kings, capturing all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and even taking hostages, including Abraham’s nephew Lot. With his victory, Abraham rescued Lot and others, recovering the spoils of war that had been claimed by the invaders. The Lord was on his side, and it was truly a remarkable victory. At 85 years old, Abraham had done what five local kings and their forces could not.
Read Genesis 15:1. The King of Sodom, one of the kings who had just had his fortunes returned by the brave action of Abraham, was extremely grateful. He told Abraham, "Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself" (Genesis 14:21). But Abraham, though he could have justified accepting such a monumental gift, knew it was going to be God who blessed him and not some earthly king. And so, in faith, he kindly refused the generous offer (vv. 22-24).
That's when fear crept into Abraham's heart. And Satan tried to take advantage. He is always on the lookout for opportunities to turn us away from God and toward anything else. One of the times when we really are vulnerable to sin is the moment after a flush of victory and success. Why? We are not only exhilarated and surprised but also filled with a mixture of pride and fear—and the devil knows it.
That's why God, who knew what was taking place inside His servant, could say, "Do not be afraid" (Genesis 15:1). Abraham had just stepped down from the pinnacle of victory, and he was about to plunge into depression when the gracious hand of God grabbed him mid-fall. God knows our needs before we do, and He ministers to His children accordingly.
God told Abraham, "I am your shield" (Genesis 15:1). In the ancient Near East, people were short and shields were large, so they offered total protection. God was saying, "Abraham, I have you completely covered.” God will do the same for you and me today. But like Abraham, we need to trust Him just as completely.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the example of Your faithfulness found in Your relationship with Abraham. Help me trust in You and remember that You are my shield and my fortress as You were for Abraham. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness” (Genesis 15:6).
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