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. Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. They also took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. 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. 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. 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. 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.
Why was Lot taken?
Lots decision to settle near Sodom says much about where his heart was. He chose to be there because of the access it would give him to the lifestyle. His home was in the land God had provided, but he was living in the land of sin. His heart and mind led his body to away from the blessing of God.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, because where your mind leads, your body will follow. We have to change the way we think. When we choose to move away from God’s blessing, protection, provision, love, mercy, and grace, we leave ourselves open to the world’s lies. Lies that lead to pain, grief, sorrow, regret, emptiness and death. That is exactly what Lot did here.
His response was one of urgency and strength. This is the only time Abram is portrayed as a warrior. As soon as he heard of Lot’s capture, he took 318 of his men and went after him. We talked about this earlier in the series, Lot was a hinderance. He had done nothing to warrant Abram putting himself or his people in danger. He was owed nothing, yet Abram was willing to sacrifice in order to save him. His response was one of love and grace. I think Abram knew his nephew’s heart and knew that it was his responsibility to save him.
The bible I read tells me that we should all have this type of urgency, love and grace for each other.
When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
How is your urgency this morning? Are you willing to go to war for the people next to you? Just as Abram divided his forces against his enemy, we must also divide when leave this building surrounding our foes with the gospel of Christ so that we may have the victory!
But we must also be careful church. With any victory will come a choice. Let’s continue reading.
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. Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all. Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself.” 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, 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’—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.”
Abram’s victory drew some attention. He had two visitors come to him that day. I love the picture of the kin of Salem. He brought bread, wine, a blessing and a prayer to God. Does that sound familiar? Like when Jesus sat down and broke the bread and blessed it. It’s an awesome picture of Jesus Christ giving glory to His Father.
Then there was the other guy, the king of Sodom. He paints a totally different picture as he tries to tempt Abram with the spoils of war. Going back to verse 16, Abram didn’t come back with just Lot. He returned with Lot, all of the goods and all of the people. You see, when we do what’s right for the right reasons, we are blessed with more than we set out to accomplish. Abram set out to save his ‘brother’, not for personal gain, but out of love and obedience. It was the right thing to do and it was done for the right reasons. But as with any spiritual victory, comes the temptation.
Who will get the glory?
Abram refused the king of Sodom and gave glory to God.
So here is the application for you and I:
Will we fight for what is right and true? Are you willing to stand up and fight for your family, friends and neighbors, the people down the road, on the other side of town? Will you fight for your church, faith, freedom and future. Will you fight for the gospel so that you can fight with the gospel? I know that we are all in different place in our spiritual walk, but make no mistake, God wants warriors.
If we really want God’s best for our lives, we must be willing to fight for it, sacrifice for it and even die for it. But then we have to be ready for what follows, because we will be tested. Who will you give the glory to? The best is yet to come.