In 15:1, God says to Abram 'Do not be afraid'. Why? What led up to that statement?
Abram has shown a generous attitude, by allowing Lot to choose the best land.
In Ch. 14. Abram conducts a remarkable defense, and rescues Lot and his family. A good example of Luke 6:27,28!
After returning from battle with the 4 warring kings, Abram is an outstanding witness. The king of Sodom wanted to show his gratitude to Abram, and Abram refused to take a single penny from the king. (14:22-23) (see also Matt. 6:19-34)
From courage to fear
So, what caused Abram to move from such boldness to the point where it was necessary for God to come and reassure Abram in 15:1?
Abram may have been worrying about potential retaliation. He had just angered four kings and their armies. Was he thinking 'What have I done? And for what?'
Abram may have been worrying about potential poverty. He had just refused wealth from Sodom. Lot had the better land, and Abram had recently returned from Egypt because of a severe famine. What if another famine came?
God had called Abram here with the promise of land and a great people. How was that going to happen? Abram was childless. (15:2,3)
God's reassuring words
God is so good. He knew what Abram was feeling, and the Lord came to Abram and spoke to Abram, specifically addressing the concerns Abram had.
God said 'I am your shield'. (15:1) Abram, you need not worry about those kings.
God said 'I am your great reward'. (15:1) Abram, you need not worry about poverty.
God said 'so shall your offspring be'. (15:5) Abram, you need not worry about an heir.
God took Abram outside at night, and showed him the stars. At this point comes one of the most significant statements in the Bible. Abram believed. (15:6)
Notice what Paul says about this moment. See Rom. 4:18-22. Also, Rom. 4:23-5:1.
Ever experienced doubt, or fear? Remember 15:1-6. And see II Timothy 1:7 & Rom. 8:38,39
#1) It is normal to face periods of doubt and fear following great victories in our Christian lives. Why? Lessons in grace, need for physical rest (see I Kings 19), Satan's attacks (Matt. 4)
Periods of doubt and fear provide opportunities for God to reveal Himself in greater measure
During a crisis, God builds our faith and enables us to trust Him like we've never done before