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After This

Genesis 15:1 starts with the words, "After this." So what came before? Abram had just defeated Kedolaomer and his allies, had been blessed by the priest Melchizedek, and had refused a royal repayment from King Bera of Sodom for rescuing his people and goods. It was then that Genesis 15:1 says, "AFTER THIS, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: 'Do not be afraid Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.'"

Interesting. After everything that had happened to Abram, THEN God shows up and speaks to him. Was it a day later? A month down the road? The Bible doesn't say. All we're told is "After this." Abram had just lived through a mighty upheaval in his life, and then, "After this." Yet when God showed up on the scene He brought reassurance (Don't be afraid); a promise of protection and safety (I am your shield); and an assurance of provision (I am your great reward).

At this exact moment in time we can hear God say the same to us--don't be afraid; I'll protect you; I'll provide for you. And in this exact moment, I'm okay with that. But some days I'm not. Even as I write this I see my dog. She was resting on the rug in the center of the room, but something woke her. Her eyes got huge. Her body tensed. She snapped upright. She sensed there was something on the other side of the closet door. She was concerned that something might be coming through to get her. So, I went to the door, picked up the trinket that had fallen off a shelf, replaced everything, closed the door, and went back to my seat. Now the dog is once more resting peacefully. No fear. She knows she's safe and provided for.

In a sense I'm the dog; and I'm Abram. And so are you. We're standing in a place of change and uncertainty. But Genesis 15:1 reminds us, "After this." Because God is the sovereign Master of our "before's" and our "after's," we can also hear the Lord say to us, "Don't be afraid. I'll protect you; I'll provide for you." We can keep trusting Him for the ride and curl up by His side, resting there peacefully (like my pampered pooch!), and sighing our thanks as we stretch out in His presence. There will be an "AFTER THIS" coming in our lives, too. Trust Him. God bless you!


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