Abram Rescues Lot
14 In the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, 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). And all these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. 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, and the Horites in their hill country of Seir as far as El-paran on the border of the wilderness. 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.
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 with Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar, four kings against five. 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. So the enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. They also took Lot, the son of Abram’s brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way.
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. 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. And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people.
Abram Blessed by Melchizedek
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). And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) And he blessed him and said,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”
And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.” But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, 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.’ 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.”
Genesis 14 Commentary
by Hank Workman
In Abraham’s time, most cities had their own kings. They ruled as they wanted and often would come against another town or city in order to gain their own territory. Wars were common. We know nothing about Kedorlaomer but he was evidently powerful. There were 5 cities he had conquered who paid tribute to his kingdom for upward of 12 years. After these cities had their pockets emptied they finally said enough and rebelled. Kedorlaomer moved swiftly reclaiming these cities except this time he took the tenants of the cities into captivity. One of these cities was Sodom and one of these people was Lot and his family and all his possessions.
Lot’s bad choices, one of many, was driven by his own greed and desires. This led to his own enslavement not only spiritually but physically. Sadly these choices mirror so many people we know today. Lot’s choices cost him his freedom and enjoyment and as a result, he was looking at torture, slavery, and death. Today this is much the same with those who willfully walk out of the will of God.
Abraham with only 318 men chased down Kedorlaomer’s army – attacked and defeated this king. Just consider this thought a moment because it’s powerful. With God’s help, Abraham and his small band of men defeated an entire king’s army. An army that had overtaken 5 cities and won! He recovered Lot, his family and yes all their possessions.
Abraham’s characteristics were noble. He acted immediately, readied the troops and attacked. He trusted God despite the difference in a powerful king’s army compared to his own numbers. Sometimes God calls us to get involved in messy situations in order to help others. Sometimes God calls us to search and rescue those held in captivity where the odds are stacked against us.
Where is God calling you to act in such a way? Where is He asking you to step into a difficult situation and even one where everything is humanly speaking against you? For many of us, we’re on a search and rescue mission that requires we trust God despite the facts and are required to get involved.
Genesis 14 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Here in Genesis 14, we find the bizarre story of Melchizedek.
Melchizedek came to Abraham after his defeat of Chedorlaomer and his three allies. He gave bread and wine to Abraham and his men which symbolized friendship.
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High.Genesis 14:18 NASB
Do you think it’s a coincidence he brought bread and wine? This was a foreshadowing of the Messiah. Melchizedek also blessed Abraham and praised God for His powerful victory. Because of this, Abraham presented Melchizedek with a tenth of all items he had acquired. Through this act, Abraham was recognizing Melchizedek as a great man. David writes that the Messiah would come as a priest through the line of Melchizedek as opposed to Aaron. This is a huge statement.
The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.”Psalms 110:4 NASB
The comparisons don’t stop there. The author of Hebrews gives a direct comparison of the two by stating Melchizedek was made like the Son of God. Could it be that Melchizedek was actually the pre-incarnate Christ appearing in the Old Testament?
Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually. 4 Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the choicest spoils.Hebrews 7:3-4 NASB
At the very least, we know that Melchizedek was extremely unique and represented an Old Testament Christlike figure. The author of Hebrews uses this priest and king to make a powerful point. If the Jews believed in the greatness of Melchizedek as a king and priest, what was stopping them from believing that Jesus was even greater? The evidence had walked among them. But in His grace, God offered this metaphor of Melchizedek as another spectacular example of how Jesus is both our King and our High Priest.