The decision of Lot to live in Sodom was one that brought disaster on himself, his wife, and his family. Despite the fact that he had accompanied Abram (his name had not yet been changed to Abraham) in his journey from Ur, the attraction of the world was too great to be resisted and, looking on the well-watered plain of Jordan (Gen 13.10), he determined that he would settle there. The world called and Lot succumbed.
Before long the effects of that decision were felt. An international dispute between monarchs led to the king of Sodom and his allies being defeated in battle by Amraphel, King of Shinar and his allies. As a consequence Lot was taken prisoner and his possessions were carried away as the spoils of war (Gen 14.1-12). Let the reader beware. No matter how desirable temptation appears to be, it is always folly to heed its call. Ultimately sin always leads to loss.
Abram, on hearing the news, carried out a rescue operation and Lot, and his goods, were delivered from the hands of his enemies (Gen 14.13-16). What a triumph this was for Abram. He who lived separate from the world, away from the well-watered plain of Jordan, was the only man who could prevail against what appeared to be the overwhelming might of kings. Power to work and triumph for God is only found in those who are truly His separated servants.
Having returned from the battle, Abram was met by the king of Sodom who offered him the spoils of war that Abram had gained, but he refused lest that ungodly man would claim that it was he who had enriched Abram. Abram had not gone to battle to be enriched by the world.
But after it was over is it possible that Abram may have felt two fears? First, his rescue of Lot would have been a humiliation for kings who were returning from a mighty victory. Would they be intent on revenge? Would they be planning to make an example of Abram, sending a warning to all those who might be disposed to oppose them? Second, had he made a mistake in refusing the wealth that Sodom offered to bestow on him? Perhaps the Adversary attempted to plant such thoughts in his mind.
If this were so it would not be the last time that he would attempt to bring low those who have been proved faithful to the Lord. When we seek to be honest and righteous in our dealings at all times he will quickly try to convince us that this was foolishness, which has caused us unnecessary loss. When we seek to stand for the truth of Scripture and find that there are powerful enemies to be faced, it may be that fears grip us.
Thus it is that the Lord speaks: "Fear not Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward". It has first to be noted that the Lord understood the fear of Abram. He keeps watch on those who serve Him. Those who seek to please Him in how they live find that they are never forgotten. The Lord, who appreciated His faithfulness, came close to still his fear.
The promise is in two parts, the first being, "I am thy shield". Should the enemy seek revenge the Lord will be his shield, and sheltered behind such a shield no-one can be struck down. This protection is impregnable. Behind it one cannot be overcome. What a promise is this! The psalmist lived in the enjoyment of it as he wrote, "For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield" (Ps 5.12).
But more is to follow. The second part of the promise is, "I am thy exceeding great reward". No matter the wealth on which Abram turned his back, he will not be a loser. He had the Lord, and his reward would come from Him. If being faithful to the Lord has cost you, fear not. If a decision faces you that you know will please Him, but be costly, fear not. If you stand at a crossroads and you hesitate because the choice that will please Him may bring you adversaries or lead to great material or financial loss, take heart, for He promises, and His promises can never fail. "Fear not I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward."