The first war mentioned in the Bible. Five kings revolted after being under the government of Cherdorlaomer for twelve years. In their fruitful land they wanted to call what they had their own. They plundered the lands, including Sodom and Gomorrah, and left them in utter destruction. God stripped the men of that which they had abused.
“Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens, and my new wine when it is ready. I will take back my wool and my linen, intended to cover her naked body.” – Hosea 2:9
Lot was taken with the rest of them. Although he was righteous and knew the Truth, he was living with others in a world of sin. We live in a world full of sin. As Christians, we must live and act according to God’s will, in order to separate/distinguish ourselves from those of the world with knowledge of God’s judgement ahead (Ecclesiastes 9:2).
“Therefore, ‘Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.'” – 2 Corinthians 6:17
Now we have the pure charity of Abram. He did not hesitate in gathering troops to help his nephew, even after Lot chose the better (visually) land in Genesis 13. Here we can see Abram’s true wealth. He had 318 trained men at his command. Honorably he and his men went all the way to Dan, far north, and using his military wisdom, they successfully recover Lot and all of his possessions.We should always be ready for battle and be ready to help a friend. Our charities must be extensive to all people. And we should always be prepared for what lies ahead.
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” – Proverbs 17:17
The king of Salem, the original Jerusalem, came out to congratulate Abram on his victory. Melchizedek was both a priest and a king, which is unique here as God forbade the kings of Israel to be priests and vice versa (2 Chronicles 26:16-23). But Melchizedek was the exception. His name means “king of righteousness,” and he is a priest of the God “most high.” We should always serve the highest power, which is God. He brought out bread and wine, perhaps serving them while looking forward to God’s redeeming sacrifice of His son for us. Melchizedek is described in further detail in Hebrews 7. He blessed Abram, and Abram gave him a tithe (10%) of all of his possessions.
In contrast, the king of Sodom offers the spoils of battle and not a blessing for Abram. If Abram had not rejected this offer, others would falsely accuse him of getting rich through Sodom, instead of the Lord. Abram knew God had not chosen the king of Sodom to fulfill his promises to him. Instead, Abram continued to have faith in God’s promises. He left no doubt to who’s name deserved the triumph in this battle: the Lord.
“For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” – Deuteronomy 20:4