Genesis 15:1 reads “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.” Note, how this verse starts with a reference to a timeframe – “After these things …” What things? The preceding chapter gives us an account of how Abram went out to rescue Lot, his nephew, and returns with the people and possession of the land that were captured by four powerful kings. He hails victoriously from the battles because the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, was with him and had delivered his enemies into his hand (Genesis 14:20). Abram takes nothing in return for his victory because of a vow that he had made to his Lord God (Genesis 14:22-23), which indicates his selfless nature – one that did not seek out for his own.
Now, after these things… the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision. It was after Abram had fought for his own (relative) and the people of the lands that were taken under captivity by their oppressors; it was after Abram had been victorious in battle.
Points to ponder:
First, when we fight for the liberty of those who are oppressed, we fight on the side of God, for the Lord is the stronghold (refuge) of the oppressed (Psalm 9:9). It is not just a battle in the flesh, but more so a battle in the Spirit. Jesus himself came in the flesh (1 John 4:2), with the Spirit of God upon him to set at liberty those who are oppressed and deliver those who are captive (Luke 4:18-19). There are many who are held in addictive bondage, and in captivity, by sin (Genesis 4:7) and when we fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12), by preaching Salvation in Christ alone, who frees all who believe, from their unrighteousness (Galatians 5:1), we can be assured that God is on our side, fighting along with us. Second, when we have momentary victory in our battles, we ought to recognize that it not out of human effort, but by the Spirit (Zechariah 4:6), that success is granted as a favor to us. This is when we need to have the word of the Lord come to us, lest we be puffed up in our pride and give the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:27). Let us fight for the liberty of those enslaved in sin and under its bondage … let us wait on the Lord in our victory (when granted) … for after these things … the word of the Lord come as it came to Abram.
Genesis 15:1 (KJV)
15 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.
Luke 4:18-19 (KJV)
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
1 Timothy 6:12 (KJV)
12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
Zechariah 4:6 (KJV)
6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.