Job 34:10-11. “Therefore listen to me, you men of understanding:
Far be it from God to do wickedness,
And from the Almighty to commit iniquity.
11For He repays man according to his work,
And makes man to find a reward according to His way.”
When I read the Word of God, I see the hope of promised reward. These ‘rewards’ have been mentioned many times in sermons, bible studies and moments of encouragement among believers.
We see various types of rewards both in this life and in the life to come.
Jesus mentions 3 types of rewards in Matthew 10:40-42 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.41He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”
In this short portion of scripture we see specifically the prophets reward, a righteous man’s reward and the reward of compassion.
In other parts of scripture we see various degrees of reward. Jesus implies a form of ‘great reward’ in Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
We see loss of reward in Matthew 5:46 with those who only love those who love themselves. We likewise see immediate reward with voluntarily serving the Lord and not just out of obligation in 1 Corinthians 9:17-18. If I have a cheerful heart, I have a continual feast in Proverbs 15:15, that looks like reward to me and children are considered God’s reward to those God has blessed, although at times, parents may have their doubts.
Psalm 19:11 reveals the reward for obedience to God’s moral law and in Proverbs 25:22 the reward for loving your enemies is the culmination of obedience to God’s directives, (even though your “heaping burning coals on his head”.)😊
What we begin to see here is future reward, an inheritance, administered by Jesus Himself.
We also see the negative reward in verse 25 “But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.“. So the reward we receive can either be good or bad. Sometimes, someone may think their reward is good but is not what they think: Proverbs 11:18 “The wicked man does deceptive work, But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward.” The wicked may rob someone and think their loot is the reward through their cunning and deceit, but in the end, it is rottenness to their bones.
There are rewards of healing,(both physical and spiritual), rewards of gain, whether it is riches or position, there are rewards of honor and heritage.
As we look at the culmination of our age, we see reward meted out to those who are worthy: Revelation 2:23 “I will kill her children (of the spirit of Jezebel) with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.”
What does a brief survey of the Word of God show us regarding reward?
….That in God’s universe, reward exists both now and in the age to come. Reward is reflected in the work. Poor work receives a bad reward while good work receives its good share. It varies based off the level of obedience and faith as illustrated in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25.
What do I think?
My favorite scripture for reward is found in Genesis 15:1 “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.”
When it’s all said and done, Jesus is our greatest reward. To be with Him for eternity pricks the heart of every true believer. To know Him, to be able to walk with Him and to rejoice in His salvation. We will exalt Him as Lord and King forever and ever, and we will lay the crowns of reward He has given us at His feet.
Because in the end, we will know that any good that we did, He first began in us.
….and so to conclude this thought, I echo what every patriarch and prophet of old has echoed before and will do so into eternity….
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of theLord? Or who has become His counselor?” Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him? For of Him and through Him and to Him areall things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:33-36