After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am your shield…
The substance of this chapter is the special intercourse between Jehovah and Abram. On that foundation faith rests. It is not feeling after God, if haply he be found; it is a living confidence and obedience, based upon revelation, promise, covenant, solemn ratification by signs, detailed prediction of the future. God said, "I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward" - i.e. I am with thee day by day as the God of providence; I will abundantly bless thee hereafter. The pro-raise of a numerous offspring, of descendants like the stars for multitude, was not a merely temporal promise, it was a spiritual blessing set in the framework of national prosperity. Abram believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness" (Ver. 6; cf. Romans 4.; Galatians 3.; Hebrews 11.).
I. It was a FAITH IN THE PERSONAL, revealed, covenant Jehovah; not merely in a word, or in a sign, or in a prospect, but "in the Lord."
II. THE GRACIOUS BOND OF RELATIONSHIP AND OF COVENANT. Faith on the one side, God dealing with a sinful creature as righteous on the other. The elements of that bond are
(1) gracious acceptance,
(2) gracious revelation,
(3) gracious reward of obedience - in each case vouchsafed to faith.
Thus the faith which justifies is the faith which sanctifies, for the sanctification, as the Apostle Paul shows in Romans 8., is as truly the outcome of the grace which accepts as the acceptance itself. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.