TITLE: Who Is Our God? Our Exceeding Great Reward (8/17/14)
By Diane M. Bowman
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Who Is Our God?
Our Exceeding Great Reward
After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward (Genesis 15:1 KJV).
I am thy exceeding great reward. God's description of Himself gives us a window into His character. Take notice of what He does not say. He does not say He will give an exceeding great reward. He does not tell Abram the reward is the seed promised to him. He does not say it is the land of Canaan promised to Abram's seed. He tells Abram that He is the exceeding great reward.
Thy exceeding great reward. Thy me'o^d ra^ba^h s´a^ka^r (meh-ode' raw-baw' saw-kawr'). According to Strong's concordance, the Hebrew word translated as exceeding means vehemently (zealous, ardent, impassionate), speedily, diligently, especially, wholly, far, fast, good, great, louder and louder, mighty, quickly, utterly, well, etc. Ra^ba^h means to increase, to bring in abundance, be in authority, bring up, continue, enlarge, excel, exceeding, to be full of, to be or make great, grow up, heap, increase, to make to multiply, nourish, etc. Sa^ka^r can be translated as payment of contract; salary, fare, maintenance; compensation, benefit, hire, price, reward, wages, or worth.
I am thy vehemently increasing worth. I am thy louder and louder, abundant, payment of contract. Thy diligently, multiplying salary. Thy utterly, nourishing compensation. He does not promise us some stagnant reward. He is our passionate, growing and sufficient payment. He is our speedily heaping paycheck.
Genesis 14 records the account when Abram refused, essentially for the second time, the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah. Chedorlaomer and several other kings had seized Abram's nephew and his goods with the rulers of the cities Lot had chosen for his home. Abram, when informed of the capture, pursued the enemy kings with his servants and claimed back all they had taken in their rampage. At the conclusion of the chapter, the king of Sodom offered all the spoils of the battle to Abram but he refused. He desired riches given from God, so that none but God could say, 'I have made Abram rich.'
How willing am I to do that very thing? Do I refuse the treasures of another, knowing that God will fill my desires and by satisfying my needs, receive the glory of being the one who made me rich?
The crux of the story wasn't that Abram didn't ask God for anything, in fact, God was exactly who he did go to with his requests. He recognized that ultimately God was his reward and the source of his blessings. We see God's response to the trust of Abram in Genesis 15. Abram asked God for an heir, God promised him a mighty nation of descendants. "You want a son? I'll give you more posterity than there are stars in heaven."
Another example in scripture similar to this is that of Job. It is easy to read the book of Job and miss the reward given to him. We readily notice the fact that Satan requested permission of God to have a heyday with Job's life and at times, we wonder why He allowed it. It is easy to see that in the end, He returned Job's health, possessions, respect, and family to him. However, have you paid attention to what Job recognized as the amazing gift given to him?
After enduring the loss of everything precious to him (and before God returned blessings to Job), he makes this statement:
'I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee Job 42:5 KJV).'
Somehow, I have a feeling that Job didn't look back at the time he 'lost it all' and wish those days had never come. It's doubtful that he longed to go back to when he was young and healthy and his life was 'good.' The reward of seeing God was so valued that he would not have wished it away.
The reward given to Abram and Job is available to us as well. Jesus prayed in John 17 for the Father to glorify Himself in the Son, that the Son may give us eternal life. What is that eternal life? To know Him, the only true God, and Jesus Christ.
Jesus died and rose again to give us our exceeding great reward.
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