God included Abram in the promises to the one seed (Jesus) and then remained silent for nine years. To Abram close to a decade had elapsed. To God a mere 15 minutes later he made a specific promise to Abram. “I am your shield, your very great reward.”
What has Abram done to merit a reward? He came to Canaan decades after God spoke to him in Ur and only after his father died. He built altars but did not believe God, and traveled to Egypt to see if they had something better. He deceived Pharaoh who threw him out of Egypt. Abram returned to the altar he built at Bethel still living in disobedience. He had not followed God’s initial instructions to separate from his extended family. He finally parted company with Lot but only to stop their employees from fighting. Abram needs protection but a reward?
Reward has an interesting definition. The Hebrew word means payment of contract, salary, or compensation. God promised to pay Abram for a service. Two words, “After this,” are the only clue regarding the service Abram provided. After what?
The kings of Canaan were quarreling with one another before Abram moved to Canaan. Four kings had turned five kings into puppet rulers. Abram had formed an alliance with three brothers, but there is no indication he participated when the five kings rebelled. In the war that followed the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled leaving their citizens defenseless. The citizens of Sodom including Lot were taken captive.
News of Lot’s misfortune prompted Abram to action. Four men with a righteous cause succeeded where five wicked kings failed. When Abram and his allies fought to release one righteous man from captivity, they set the entire city free.
The king of Sodom came out of hiding when Abram returned with the captives and their possessions. The king told Abram to keep the captive’s possessions as payment. All he wanted was the people. Apparently, the people had no say in what happened to them and their possessions. Abram refused. He had sworn an oath to the Lord to accept nothing for his services lest an earthly king boast that he had made Abram rich.
After these things, God assured Abram that he would not only protect him but also pay him. Lot should have stayed at Ur or remained in Haran. Following a man who failed to obey God brought sorrow into his life. When Abram fought for his brother in the Lord, God counted it a service worthy of payment.
 All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.
 H7939 , שׂכר, śâkâr, saw-kawr’ From H7986; payment of contract; concretely salary, fare, maintenance; by implication compensation, benefit: – hire, price, reward [-ed], wages, worth.
 Lot is called a righteousness man in the New Testament. 2 Peter 2:7-8