God reminds Abram that He is Abram’s shield and exceedingly great reward; if we are with God, all that is God’s is ours. Abram complains that God has not provided him with an heir, leaving Abram to assume that when he dies, his life is over. Not so. God consistently waits until our ego exhausts itself; we are not the source of our own life. When exhausted we come to rest in the green arc of God’s providence for us—this is honesty about dependence.
Consider Israel’s situation between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army or Lazarus dead and buried four days before Jesus came: too late, absolutely impossible. This is when we abandon our ego and realize who God is for us. God adds a reminder based on the stars: so many will Abram’s descendants be, not physical descendants, but like Isaac, people generated by God’s promise (see John 3).