Courage to Act
Abraham rescues Lot (
Genesis 14)

 

1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations, 

2 that they made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah,
Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar).

3 All these joined together in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). 

4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they
rebelled. 

5 In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him came and attacked the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim, 

6 and the Horites in their mountain of Seir, as far as El Paran, which is by the wilderness. 

7 Then they turned back and came to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and attacked all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who dwelt in Hazezon Tamar. 

8 And the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out and joined together in battle in the Valley of Siddim 

9 against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of nations, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar--four kings against five. 

10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of asphalt pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled; some fell there, and the remainder fled to the mountains. 

11Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their
provisions, and went their way. 

12 They also took Lot, Abram's brother's son who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. 

13 Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, for he dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner; and they were allies with Abram. 

14 Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 

15 He divided his forces against them by night, and he and his servants
attacked them and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. 

16 So he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people. 

17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him. 

18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 

19 And he blessed him and said: "Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth; 

20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand." And he gave him a tithe of all. 

21 Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself." 

22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, 

23 that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, 'I have made Abram rich'-- 

24 except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion."

Genesis 14: 1 – 10 This is an account of a battle that took place between Chedorlaomer king of Elam (Today, Persia/Iran) and three of his allies, against the cities of Sodom and the adjoining cities.

For twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer king of Elam but in the thirteenth year they rebelled and intended to break free. These four kings had come to solidify their hold on the trade routes.

Out of covetousness, Lot, the nephew of Abraham had settled in fruitful, but wicked Sodom. If it had not been for the fact that Lot became involved in this historical event and that Abraham went to rescue him, we would probably never have heard about these battles. However, we can learn a lot about the nature of Abraham and Lot through their involvement in this situation.
We see here how even men of God can get wrapped up in the situations of ungodly people. Wisdom should tell us to steer clear of such situations.
Although we are in the world, we are not of the world and whilst we cannot avoid mixing with unbelievers, whether they are our own family members or work colleagues, we should guard against getting involved with certain
activities, especially wrong doings, (the wicked deeds of men).
We have no choice but to live side by side with unbelievers and we should attempt to be at peace with all men and maintain peace where we can.


Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

It is a fine balance between mixing with unbelievers and being like them. Even in the company of unbelievers, we are to represent Jesus Christ, we are to be different. It is possible to work along side unbelievers for the common good. Whether it be a food bank, a residents association or community group or a charity shop. By being involved we are giving a Christian perspective in that situation. We are Christ’s representative.
We should not be scared of the world, for greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world. (the devil).


1 John 4:4  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
 

The old adage says “it is easier to drag someone down off a table than it is to lift them up” However we Christians should always remember:

Php 2:13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 
 

However, we should guard against putting ourselves in situations that could bring reproach on the Lord Jesus.

Matt 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

If we do find ourselves in a compromising situation, it is wiser to remove ourselves from it, because even if we are not directly involved, it may be construed by others that we are.

2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 
1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

 

It does not matter how religious we are, or dedicated to our Christian faith, we are not safe from being caught up in a situation where God’s judgement falls. Many godly men and women have been taken prisoner and even lost their lives in such situations.
Lot had decided to settle in a wicked city, he chose to dwell in Sodom and now he finds himself caught up in Sodom’s problems.

Lot had the entire plain of the Jordan available to him but Lot, unwisely chose the really sinful city of Sodom instead. Verse 12 therefore, may represent a time of divine retribution for Lot's selfish act or God allowing him to suffer the consequences of his lack of wisdom.
When allied with Abram, Lot could live on his righteous uncle's "residual" blessing. Without Abram's guidance, however, he faced the consequences of foolish living on his own. He was helpless, aimless and hopeless, unless Abram would extend grace to him one more time.

If Christian’s court wickedness, they must expect some form of repercussion, even if one does not engage in the acts of wickedness, it is likely that when the axe comes down it will fall on you as well.
The age old adage says “you will be tarred with the same brush”.

The victors of the battles took their spoils.


11 Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. 

12  They also took Lot, Abram's brother's son who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed

The victors were not concerned who was in the wrong, they just took who and what they wanted.
Lot here, had become a victim of his own poor judgement and his bad decisions.
Although there are times were Lot acted in a right manner, an example we see later in Genesis 19 when the angels visited Sodom.


Gen 19:1  And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; 

Gen 19:2  And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. 

Gen 19:3  And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat. 

However, his ulterior motives constantly appear to be lurking just beneath the surface. It is hardly surprising, then, that Lot finds himself in a terrible situation in the sudden aftermath of the battle between the two groups of kings. 
 

13 Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, for he dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner; and they were allies with Abram. 

14 Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 

15 He divided his forces against them by night, and he and his servants attacked them and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. 

16 So he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people. 
 

This next piece of text shows how wealthy and organized Abraham was. We also see how God was blessing Abraham and giving him guidance, strength and courage.
Abraham faced four kings and their armies. Abraham had three hundred and eighteen trained servants of his own and two allies.
The odds seemed stacked against him. However, his strength was not in his numbers but in God. His faith was in God who had promised that one day he would be father of many nations. If God was to fulfil His promise then He would certainly deliver Abraham.
When God makes promises, He keeps them.
We must always remember this when we read scriptures concerning God’s promises, He will not let us down.
The Bible is full of promises from God.

God’s promises will never fail.


James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
He has our best interest at heart.
Jeremiah 29:11 'For I know the plans I have for you', declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


He will be with us in our times of need.

Deuteronomy 31:8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.


Always there to assist

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

If we trust Him and not ourselves.

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
 

When we doubt concerning our salvation.
 

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 10:9-10 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
When we fall, He is ready to forgive.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

 

With the wisdom and courage that came from God, Abraham and his men defeated the four kings and retrieved the captures and the possessions.

17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him. 

21 Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself." 

22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, 

23 that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, 'I have made Abram rich'-- 

24 except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion."
 

The King of Sodom went out to meet Abraham after his victory. What a witness to Almighty God.
The king of Sodom and his allies were five against four and could not win, yet here we have Abraham outnumbered but victorious.
Here we see Abraham giving witness to God, he had done this deed for the right reasons, not for money, silver or gold or booty but because it was the right thing to do.
This lesson would be well learned by many of the money preachers in the church today. It is one thing, not muzzling the ox whist it is treading the corn, as we see in
verse 24.
We can understand a minister who takes a stipend but to make profit from the Gospel is another thing.

 V21 "Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself." 

The king of Sodom was giving Abraham the glory for this victory, the victor always got the spoils.
This was the recognition by a worldly king.

Abraham’s response:
"I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, 
I have made a pledge to God.

23 that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, 'I have made Abram rich'-- 


Abraham knew that this victory was not of his own power but it was because God was in control and God had made future promises to him that he believed would be fulfilled.
Abraham was saying, I am not having you or anyone saying that I have done this deed for gain. The glory is to God alone.

 “lest you should say, 'I have made Abram rich”-- 
 

You will notice that I have left out verses 18 – 20 of this portion.

18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 

19 And he blessed him and said: "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 

20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand." And he gave him a tithe of all. 


This person, Melchizedek, turns up here out of nowhere, it really does not seem to fit in to this account. We see here that this person was both king and priest of the Most High God. This is a title that is given only to Jesus Christ.
This is a study in itself and is not being dealt with in this blog.

However we can’t help noticing the blessings being given.
And he (Melchisadek) blessed him and said:
"Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 

 20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand."

The honour and glory are given to the right person, Almighty God.

It would be very easy for any of us to take the glory, the praise, the pat on the back for our actions. However we should always be aware that all that we are, all that we have is a gift from God.
Our wealth, our health, our very life is given of God.


1 Thess 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Very often we ask God to intercede on our behalf, to step into our problematic situations and very often we don’t give Him the thanks or the glory.

Lot trusted in his own judgement, for his own gain and ended up in a heap of trouble.
Abraham on the other hand, followed God’s lead and trusted God and received God’s blessing.
Lot lived for himself whereas Abraham looked to the interest of others.

If you are interested in who this mysterious person, Melchizedek is, you can read a blog on the subject on my blog site.

Blog 32

https://jeffreyunsworth.wixsite.com/teleiosbibleblogs/melchisadek

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