Anyone else feel like they are reading a story from the old west? That’s what today’s chapter brings to mind where we find Abram coming to the rescue when Lot was taken hostage. Lot is like the brother who always needs to be bailed out and who is never in the right place at the right time. He had been captured by the rulers of the day, but Abram wasn’t going to just sit back and watch Lot die. He rounded up a posse of tough guys, and they went out to face those kings in an old-fashioned duel.
How did the showdown go? Abram rescued Lot, saved some women, and recovered stolen goods. Wyatt Earp could take a page out of his book.
Then, the priest-king Melchizedek blessed Abram with one of the most powerful, inspiring blessings found in scripture.
Here are a few notes about this chapter:
- It’s hard to find a good moment in Sodom’s history. This chapter tells us that the city was plundered.
- The first reference to Dan is in this chapter. It will prove to be an important landmark/region in the future of Israel (12 tribes). The fact that it is mentioned by name here and not by the Canaanite name tells us that the writer of Genesis had the 12 tribes of Israel in mind when recounting this story.
- This is a shining moment for Abraham. He is courageous – utilizing only 318 men to chase down the armies of kings – trusts the Lord, and is blessed. The chapter ends with his assertion to audacious integrity.
- Melchizedek is an important reference. Jesus is shown to be the truest Melchizedek, meaning Priest-King of Peace & Righteousness, as we find in Hebrews. We don’t know a ton about the actual Melchizedek other than what we find in Genesis 14.
- An early reference to tithing? Yep. “Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.” That has always struck me as important. It’s a principle we see throughout the Bible and yet so many Christians seem to fight it. I believe that Jesus’ teachings on money might even call us to an even more radical approach to giving and generosity, but the tithe is definitely the standard.
What did the Lord teach you today? I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday.
By: Todd Thomas