Feb 18, 2011

God’s great reward

I was reading over what theologians call the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 15. I was especially struck this time with the notion that God’s provision for Abram – and us – far outshines anything we can envision for ourselves.

Dr. Constable’s notes on Genesis indicate God was determined “to give Abram great ‘reward.’” This was in light of Abram’s recent victory over the four kings, rescuing Lot and all Lot’s estate. Yet Abram refused any spoils of war. What was Abram’s response to the victory? We can learn from his response.

When Melchizedek, king of Salem, came out to bless Abram upon his return to the Promised Land, they shared in a worshipful celebration giving God blessing. Abram’s response was to worship God in light of the victory and then he turned over first-fruit gifts to Melchizedek, broadening his worship of God and demonstrating he understood the source of the victory and the source of his provision.

Scholars write that Abram put himself in a vicious loop of violence when he defeated the four kings, which likely would have put him into a life of retaliation and defending against retaliation, which was the custom for this period of time.

Yet, that doesn’t seem to be what’s on Abram’s mind. Abram is “legitimately concerned about God’s provision for the Promised Land as well as his need for an heir,” (Constable). God meets with Abram and reassures him of the promise of a seed and a great nation. This reward of a seed and a nation, this God-given reward, would make the spoils of war seem minuscule.

Then, when we continue reading, we see that Abram wasn’t questioning God, but communicating his legitimate concern. We can be happy in the report that Abram believed God’s promise and it was this belief that God accounted righteousness to Abram.

Trust is God’s word, His promise, is what results in justification; and, worship of God is what results in our sanctification.

What greater reward of our trust in God than our being rescued from the penalty of sin through belief in the promise of Jesus Christ? All other rewards pale in comparison.

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