Exceeding Great Reward
My mom often reminded me of this verse as a child, to motivate me to love the Lord with my chores, my attitudes, and my finances. She was so right, but not in the way I first thought. As a kid, I always thought that it meant, if I love God and wholeheartedly serve Him, He will give me things that I really want. I couldn't figure out why God didn't "bless" me with the things I felt He should have given me.
A few years later, learning to live on my own in an apartment, I often found myself surprised with little blessings from the Lord. My job was sufficient, and I had enough money to live off of, but no extras. Somehow, one way or another, I'd receive a potted plant, a bedspread, a hand-me-down shower curtain, and so forth. Were these necessary? No. Not really. But God wanted to remind me of His love for me.
That summer I learned an important truth about this verse. Those who demand blessings don't receive them, but those that seek the Great Reward find themselves overflowing in God's goodness.
Obedience to commands brings blessing. This is a pattern that God has established from the beginning of time. Wouldn't it fit then, that the greatest commandment to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind, (Matthew 22:37-38) would also reveal the greatest blessing?! For the pure in heart... shall see God. (Matthew 5:8) What a great truth! Seeking, knowing, and loving God is not only a command; it is the greatest blessing man could ever encounter.
Abraham encountered this truth in Genesis 15:1. He lived a long and righteous life. He loved and trusted the Lord, yet He was concerned about passing on the legacy of faith to... whom? He didn't have a son! God came to him in that famous discourse about the "stars of heaven" and the "sand of the sea," and the first thing He says to Abraham is: "I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward."
I found this a bit interesting. Why would shield and reward be coupled together? Shield means what it says. It's a piece of armor that is used to protect the body from battle dangers. Reward, in this case, actually means payment,wages, compensation, and so forth. Here is the greatest promise that God could ever make to mankind: the promise of redemption. He IS the shield to protect us physically and the payment to protect our souls eternally. I suppose you know the rest. WHO would that Exceeding Great Reward be then?
Jesus Christ who died for you, to pay the payment for your sin.
"The Lord is my Portion, therefore will I hope in Him." (Lamentations 3:24)