When you think of a shield, what comes to mind? Superheroes? Knights of the Round Table? In Genesis 15, God describes Himself as “a shield.” Abram had just rescued his nephew Lot along with the other residents of Sodom and Gomorrah from a group of marauding kings (Gen. 14:1–24). This was a stunning military achievement for a man who was not an experienced warrior. Clearly, God had been at work. Yet, the victory put Abram in a vulnerable position. He had made enemies. Remember that he was not living among his own people and could not count on the support of those around him.
God appeared to Abram in a vision and said, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward” (v. 1). A shield was designed to protect a soldier from arrows or spear thrusts. God told Abram that he had no cause for worry. He would protect him.
Abram’s response is surprising. He asks God how he can trust His promise since he was still childless (vv. 2–3). Remember, God had promised that Abram’s offspring would become a great nation (Gen. 12:1–3). Years had gone by, yet Sarah and Abram still did not have any children. Abram wondered if God was able to keep this new promise if He had not followed through on the first one.
God asked Abram to come outside and look at the stars. Imagine being in the wilderness with no ambient light. God proclaimed, “So shall your offspring be” (v. 5). God was reminding Abram that He has created the stars. Could not the One who spoke the universe into existence be trusted to keep His word today? Abram believed God (v. 6).
>> God is your shield. He protects and defends you as well. Just like Abram, we are called to trust in God and His Word. We can be grateful that the Creator of the universe is active on our behalf today.
Lord, teach us to depend on You as a knight would rely on his shield. In trouble, doubt, or fear we seek You out. Grant us comfort and assurance that You are with us.