After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” (Genesis 15:1)
The Bible doesn’t really explain to us what it was that caused Abram to fear. Perhaps he was concerned about possible reprisals from the four kings he had just defeated. Considering what develops later in this chapter, it might have been his concerns about not having any children. Whatever it was, he was comforted with words, “I am your shield.”
The Hebrew word for “shield” is מגן magen and is basically the same word that was used by Melchizedek when he said to Abram, “Blessed be God Most High, who has delivered (migen) your enemies into your hand” (Gen. 14:20). This would suggest that deliverance goes hand in hand with protection. Once these enemies had been vanquished, Abram didn’t have to worry about retribution because the Almighty would protect him. Furthermore, He tells Abram, the benefit of serving the Most High would be great.
Many of Abraham’s descendants would refer to the Almighty as a shield; in fact, Judaism has ascribed to God the title of Magen Abraham — “Shield of Abraham” — because He has promised to protect His people and shield them from those who would destroy them. When David fled from his son, Absalom, he wrote, “You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head” (Psalm 3:3). Psalm 91 says:
“He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. (Psalm 91:4)
This verse, among others, reveals how our God is moved to watch over and protect His children. As a hen would extend her feathers to shield her chicks from predators and danger, so too, does our Heavenly Father shield us from our Adversary and all who would seek to destroy us. This is just one of the great benefits in serving the One and Only God — protection from our enemies and the joy of knowing that He loves us so.
Blessings and Shalom,