After the blessing of Melchizedek, God appeared to Abraham in a vision and said, ‘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’ (Gen 15:1). This is a promise from God. And God will fulfill it through Jesus Christ. Through our faith in Christ Jesus all promises will be fulfilled (2 Cor.1:20). God appeared to Abraham in a vision and likewise Jesus comes to us in vision and tells us ‘Fear not I am your shield and reward’. The meaning for Shield is protection on all sides. Jesus protects us from all dangers and wiles of the enemies. Jesus Christ himself is the reward to every believer. Jesus is God in human form (Col.2:9). God protects us and gives us victory from our enemies especially victory over sin, sickness, Satan and death (CCCC 314). God is our Defender. Continuous communion with God gives us constant assurance of His holy presence with us. We don’t need an exceedingly greater reward than having God Himself as our Shield and Reward. “You are a child of grace. If God gave you grace, because you gave it freely, then you should love freely. Do not love God for the sake of a reward; let God be your reward!” – St. Augustine
Holy Spirit is the best shield and reward from God
This is as prophesied by Prophet Joel in Joel 2:28, ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.’ During the times when we are frightened about something we ought to pray and ask Jesus. Abram put his faith into action, trusting in the promises of God that his reward will be very great. The greatest reward of God to us is His holy spirit and his presence with us always through the outpouring of the holy spirit.
Faith is a shield and reward from God
‘Fear not’ appears in the Holy Bible 365 times as an instruction from God of His assurance of victory over sin, sickness, death and Satan. God appeared to Abraham and communicated that He was faithful to His promises. The promise of God is more certain than a sign from God. Faith is knowledge and Trust and is absolutely certain (Youcat 21). Faith in God’s promise is putting up with God’s incomprehensibility to accomplish it. As one candle is lit from the flame of another, so is faith kindled by faith (Romano Guardini). Trust in divine providence surely will help us. It is obvious that He can help us, since He is all powerful. It is certain that He will help us, because He promised it in many passages of Sacred Scripture and keeps all His promises faithfully (St. Teresa of Calcutta).
Intimacy with Jesus is a shield and reward from God
What all that we expect in this life are only a by-product of our relationship with Jesus. ‘Seek the Kingdom first, rest are freely added as well’ (Mt.6:33). This is my personal experience when I had been to Atlanta, USA in 1997 for a Lenten retreat. As there was not enough space in the presbytery to accommodate me, the Parish Priest accommodated me in a nearby house.
There I saw a small boy by name Jinto. He was 5 years old. We turned as friends very fast and we were in very good terms. He liked me very much and I was very comfortable with him. We shared a good friendship for which he gave me many rewards and gifts. He first gave me a bicycle and told me that when I get tired, I can go around on his bicycle and get refreshed. He next gave me a toy elephant and a toy car to play with. And he started piling up my floor and my room with more and more articles including cutlery and eatables from the Kitchen. He also told me that I can use these things as and when I may need it. I began thinking of a way to escape from this boy as my room is filled with gifts and I had no space to sit or sleep in my room now. I got an idea to ignore this little boy which is the best thing that I should do. I got engrossed with my work on my computer.
When he entered my room, I just ignored him. When he was out of my room I did not interfere with him. The consequence of my total ignorance of his presence in my room led to my room being emptied in just 10 minutes of whatever he had given me. He also took away my computer pouch and told his dad that he is going to store his toys in it. Probably in his anger he also hid my colorful bed sheet somewhere. Now, I have a broken relationship with Jinto and I lost many gifts. When I was in a good relationship with Jinto I got everything. But, when the relationship was no more, I lost all that belonged to me. In the same way, when we have an intimacy and a good relationship with Jesus, God gives us everything. He himself is a reward for us.
But when we turn away from Jesus, the robber or the devil or the demons will come as thieves and will take away all the good things that God had given us and destroy us ( Jn.10:10). Even though we may be in a state of sin or we may be deeply depressed with nobody to take care of us, Jesus will be present with us and He will help us to overcome our loneliness and weakness. We may have had to go through mountains of trials and tribulations but we also have seen the Lord was with us throughout. Jesus says the strongest one should be with us. That is Jesus!! (Lk 11:22). Without Jesus we cannot protect our health, our family and so on. Hence, Jesus has taught us to pray unceasingly to deliver us from the evil one.
The whole world is in need of the presence of Jesus as a shield and as a reward. Therefore as in Hebrews 10:35, Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompence of reward. The Bible says everything good is in Jesus and this is what we have to believe. In 2 Samuel 22:2 & 3 David expressed what the Lord had told Abraham – ‘The Lord is my shield and my reward.’ The Lord protects his people from their enemies. It is written in Joshua 21:44 and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. We should rejoice always as the Lord is our Shield and great reward – Romans 5:1 & 2 – Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.