A Study of Fear Day 2

Today fear is addressed in Genesis 15:1. 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.” The Hebrew word for fear in this verse is יָרֵא (pronounced yaw-ray). This verb is different from the instance of the word fear from the study of fear on day one. יָרֵא is a distinct form of fear in the Hebrew language that translates in a stronger way to mean god-fearing specifically. God commanded Abram not to be god-fearing in Genesis 15:1 because this verse is the beginning of God’s covenant with Abram.

In Genesis 15:1, Abram is still without a child and questions God about providing his inheritance to a young house servant by the name of Eliezer. The first part of chapter 15 in Genesis documents the exchange between God and Abram. God comes to Abram in a vision, possibly at night as there is reference to the stars, and in short order, dismisses Abram’s concern and uses the stars to demonstrate the amount of descendants Abram can expect. Looking back at Genesis chapter 12, Abram was already promised many descendants from God in one of three major covenants to Abram. Abram questions God in Genesis chapter 15 as though God had not already addressed this concern.

Abram exemplifies a common characteristic of a believer by doubting a promise that God made. Does Abram do this because he does not believe in God? No. The word יָרֵא, or God-fearing is used in chapter 15 of Genesis, which implies that Abram knew, trusted enough, and believed that God is very real. Doubt and fear permeate Abram’s encounter and God counters Abram’s doubt with an everlasting promise and a requirement of trust. This encounter between God and Abram comes shortly after Abram refuses the plunder from Sodom and Gomorrah. Rather than accepting worldly treasure, Abram is subsequently provided a great reward from God. Abram is basically asking God again, as though he forgot God’s promise to him the first time in chapter 12 of Genesis. ‘What do you mean by treasure? I already turned that away.’ God reminds him that the treasure is yet to come. God commands a certain level of trust in Abram that a much better reward is awaiting him.

The pinnacle of this meeting between God and Abram is in Genesis 15:6. “This verse is highly significant within the episode. Abram’s trust in God becomes the basis upon which God views him as righteous. The concept of righteousness based on faith becomes an important biblical principle for how people are brought into a right relationship with God (Zondervan, 2015).

What does the believer learn about Abram and themselves from this verse? Trust and יָרֵא are synonymous. With these principles, believers can turn away from a multitude of worldly things, places, and people that are not adherent to a believer’s relationship with God. It requires trust that the supreme authority of God usurps all worldly views, conflict, and even treasure. There is certain comfort that drawing nearer to God in uncertain times and situations that is easily achieved when a believer trusts in biblical teachings from God along with יָרֵא.

Today fear is addressed in Genesis 15:1. 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.” The Hebrew word for fear in this verse is יָרֵא (pronounced yaw-ray). This verb is different from the instance of the word fear from the study of fear on day one. יָרֵא is a distinct form of fear in the Hebrew language that translates in a stronger way to mean god-fearing specifically. God commanded Abram not to be god-fearing in Genesis 15:1 because this verse is the beginning of God’s covenant with Abram.

In Genesis 15:1, Abram is still without a child and questions God about providing his inheritance to a young house servant by the name of Eliezer. The first part of chapter 15 in Genesis documents the exchange between God and Abram. God comes to Abram in a vision, possibly at night as there is reference to the stars, and in short order, dismisses Abram’s concern and uses the stars to demonstrate the amount of descendants Abram can expect. Looking back at Genesis chapter 12, Abram was already promised many descendants from God in one of three major covenants to Abram. Abram questions God in Genesis chapter 15 as though God had not already addressed this concern.

Abram exemplifies a common characteristic of a believer by doubting a promise that God made. Does Abram do this because he does not believe in God? No. The word יָרֵא, or God-fearing is used in chapter 15 of Genesis, which implies that Abram knew, trusted enough, and believed that God is very real. Doubt and fear permeate Abram’s encounter and God counters Abram’s doubt with an everlasting promise and a requirement of trust. This encounter between God and Abram comes shortly after Abram refuses the plunder from Sodom and Gomorrah. Rather than accepting worldly treasure, Abram is subsequently provided a great reward from God. Abram is basically asking God again, as though he forgot God’s promise to him the first time in chapter 12 of Genesis. ‘What do you mean by treasure? I already turned that away.’ God reminds him that the treasure is yet to come. God commands a certain level of trust in Abram that a much better reward is awaiting him.

The pinnacle of this meeting between God and Abram is in Genesis 15:6. “This verse is highly significant within the episode. Abram’s trust in God becomes the basis upon which God views him as righteous. The concept of righteousness based on faith becomes an important biblical principle for how people are brought into a right relationship with God (Zondervan, 2015).

What does the believer learn about Abram and themselves from this verse? Trust and יָרֵא are synonymous. With these principles, believers can turn away from a multitude of worldly things, places, and people that are not adherent to a believer’s relationship with God. It requires trust that the supreme authority of God usurps all worldly views, conflict, and even treasure. There is certain comfort that drawing nearer to God in uncertain times and situations that is easily achieved when a believer trusts in biblical teachings from God along with יָרֵא.

Zondervan. (2015). Zondervan Study Bible. (D. Carson, Ed.) Grand Rapids, MI, US: Zondervan.

 

 

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