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1 In the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, 2 these kings 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 And all these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). 4 Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. 5 In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, 6 and the Horites in their hill country of Seir as far as El-paran on the border of the wilderness. 7 Then they turned back and came to En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh) and defeated all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who were dwelling in Hazazon-tamar.
8 Then 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 they joined battle in the Valley of Siddim 9 with Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar, four kings against five. 10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them, and the rest fled to the hill country. 11 So the enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. 12 They also took Lot, the son of Abram's brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way.
13 Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner. These were allies of Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people.
17 After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley). 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) 19 And he blessed him and said,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
20 and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”
And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. 21 And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.” 22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted my hand to the Lord, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ 24 I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me. Let Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre take their share.”
Watch the Sermon
As we continue to follow the life of Abram, we find ourselves in Genesis 14. The first 11 verses set the scene for two opportunities for Abram to demonstrate his faithfulness. Verses 1-11 tell us about the collection of armies from different nations and their rebellion and warring against one another. Among the kings who were rebelling are the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah. The result of the battle of the two armies is that the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah are overrun and their lands are plundered by their enemy.
Verse 12 gives us the importance of these events to our storyline: "They also took Lot, the son of Abram's brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way." Abram's nephew has been taken as a prisoner by wicked kings, and even though it was his choice to go and dwell in Sodom, verses 13-16 tell us that Abram comes out and rescues his kinsman.
In the next scene the king of Sodom and Melchizedek, king of Salem (Jerusalem), come out to meet Abram, possibly because they have seen how great he is since he is able to defeat armies with small companies of men. Melchizedek, who is a priest of God Most High, brings a meal and blesses Abram. Abram responds by tithing to Melchizedek as an affirmation that the things he has spoken are true. The king of Sodom comes to bargain and says that Abram should give him people, but he can keep possessions. Abram rejects this offer and instead keeps nothing but the men who came out with him.
Review and Apply
How does Abram coming to save his nephew, Lot, out of slavery reflect the gospel? How does it foreshadow what Christ will accomplish on the cross for us?
Lot thought he was being wise when he left Abram and went to the Jordan Valley. He didn't perceive the consequences of leaving the Land. Have there been times in your life when you thought you were walking wisely but did not realize you were walking into folly or sin?
In Psalm 110, David speaks of a future Lord who will be called "a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek." In Hebrews 7, Jesus is the one who has fulfilled the prophecy of one who will be the priest forever. Read those 2 chapters and consider the significance of how Genesis 14 foreshadows Jesus.
Compare and contrast the ways that the two kings speak to Abram and Abram's responses. What is significant about Melchizedek's blessing of Abram and Abram's response? Why do you think Abram responds to the king of Sodom in the way he does?
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