The War Of Abraham
Genesis Chapter 14
When you enroll in the “school of faith,” you never know what may happen next. Visit Abraham one day and you find him settling a boundary dispute. Visit him another day and you see him gearing up for a battle. Why is this so?
For one thing, God wants us to mature in every area of life, but maturity doesn’t come easily. There can be no growth without challenge, and there can be no challenge without change. If circumstances never changed, everything would be predictable; and the more predictable life becomes, the less challenge it presents.
In this chapter, Abraham, the man of faith, fulfills three special roles: the watcher (Gen. 14:1-12), the warrior (vv. 13-16), and the worshiper (vv. 17-24). In all three roles, Abraham exercised faith in God and made the right decisions.
This section records the first war mentioned in the Bible, and it would not be included here had it not involved Abraham.
The Bible records a great deal of history; but, as Dr. A.T. Pierson said, “History is His story.” Abe was a big part of that .
What is written helps us better understand how God worked out His great plan of salvation in this world.
In the Bible, historical facts are often windows for spiritual truth.
The five city-states in the plain of Jordan had been subject for twelve years to the kings of four eastern city-states led by Chedelammer .
After 12 yrs they finally revolted against them.
This, of course, was a declaration of war; so the four kings invaded the plain of Jordan to bring the five kings into subjection.
From our modern viewpoint, the invasion was a minor skirmish; but in that day, it was considered a major international conflict.
Of those cities captured & Defeated in the battle was the Cities of Sodom & Gomorrah
Ezk 16: 49 "Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
A) This suggests that the lifestyle of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah did not prepare them for conflict.
B) Sin Fatness & idleness were major down falls to this city
Pick up the story in v.10 10 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.
11 Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way.
12 They also took Lot, Abram's brother's son who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
Now last week we looked at the fall of Lot
A) Lifted eyes / pitched tents near / then Choose to live in the plains of Sodom because it reminded him of Egypt = World
B)Now we see He is in the mist - He is dwelling in the city - and He is taken captive !
C) Radical description of what sin does - entices - pulls you in / but eventually taken captive .
D) Samson - Judges 16:21
21 Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison.
A) Sin Blinds - Binds - sin - grinds
B) Lot was now a captive ! Back to Gen.
V.13 13 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.
14 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.
15 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.
16 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.
Abrams heart here is commendable - He could have easily sat back & said well Lot is getting what He deserves for being in that Wicked place to begin w/
A) But He doesn’t do that / Abram could have also made a case for the fact that if it is God’s will for him to be released - let him be released
B) But He doesn’t do that either - No instead against incredible odds & insurmountable circumstances - Abram goes for the rescue
C) Any one you know fallen into sin ?
Gal. 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Here we see that Abe the man of faith becomes the man of War
After the Lord gives Abe the Victory we read that the King of Sodom comes seeking to reward Him V.17 17 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.
18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.
19 And he blessed him and said: "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;
20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand." And he gave him a tithe of all.
21 Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself."
Upon His return from this great military victory Abe is met by 2 Kings
A) These 2 Kings are in great contrast to One another
B) King of Salem & the King of Sodom
C) The King of Sodom is The King of Perversity
D) The King of Salem is the King of Peace
E) Melchizedek means “king of righteousness,” and Salem means “peace.”
1) King of righteousness from the city of peace .
F) Through Christ we are made righteous & we come to know Peace!
Who Was this Melch. None other than Jesus Christophony Turn to Hebrews 7
7:1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,
2 to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated "king of righteousness," and then also king of Salem, meaning "king of peace,"
3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.
Chapter 7 is a continuation really of contrast - made in chapter 5 between Jesus and Aaron - Priesthood
1.) Priest tribe Levi - Aaron descendents / Jesus from tribe of Judah - how could he be a Priest? Wrong tribe
2.) Going back to Genesis 14 - Writer shows there was Priest on scene before Aaron - greater than Aaron - Jesus after him!
Prominence of His Priesthood!
A.) Melch King and Priest! ( Only Jesus hold that office )
1.) Very unique: no one in Jewish history held both offices
B.) being a King and Priest made him superior to Aaron
1.) Aaron's line Levites - were important in Jewish culture, but they were still subject to the King!
2.) The priestly functions were not under the control of the King but in all other matters they were subject
C.) But Melch was both King and High Priest and - when Abraham met him - recognized - impressed; paid tithes
1.) and Melch blessed him!
2nd Priest Forever!
Not just prominence but permanence
1.) Reasons: #1 - no background, no record of parents, birth, death
2.) #2 - Made like Son of God - something special - Neb, Shad, Meshack, Abendigo - 4th - like Son of God = Jesus!
3.) #3 - Remains Priest continually - Priest forever - if he was actual person who died - how could he remain a priest?
4.) #4 - John 8:56 - Your Father Abraham rejoiced to see my day and he saw it and was glad! When? I believe Gen 14 -
Turn back to Gen.
A) Notice that the King of Sodom comes & says to Abe give me the people - take what you want no strings attached
B) Lie always strings attached - but we read in v. 22
22 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,
23 "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';
24 "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."
His trust was in the Lord -
I believe see here a significant lesson - Abe was able to refuse the King of Sodom because he had first given to Melch. The King of Salem
Now what can we learn about living through Abraham's example in Gen 14 - Note: 5 Reasons why we should give!
#1 - Reason why He gave - Response to God's blessing!
A.) Melch - blessed Abraham - and he responded by giving a tithe: Tithe = 1/10
1.) It was a response to God's love! God had been faithful and strong on Abraham's' behalf
B.) Giving was his way of saying thanks!
C.) Jesus has greatly blessed us! Pulled us out of a pit gave us life - giving to the Lord is one way saying thanks
1.) Giving like any service to the Lord is to be a response to what he had done for me!
D.) The Bible says in 2 Cor 9 - God loves a cheerful giver - Literally = hilarious - so excited - praise the Lord - I give!
1.) If a person can't give cheerfully shouldn't give at all
Notice also what Abraham gave! Heb 7 read gave of the spoils - Literally the choice spoils - He gave the best!
A.) He wasn't giving the leftovers - He gave the best!
1.) 1 Cor 16:2 - first day of week - storehouse - reference is give first fruits not what is leftover at end of week .
2) Tithe vs. offering
B.) So first thing to note in giving - is a response to God's grace, goodness, love - come from cheerful heart
#2 - Giving remodels you!
A.) All of us are extremely greedy and selfish by nature! True? God has a cure for covetousness - called "giving"
B.) Every time I give I am being cured a little bit more of my selfishness, my covetousness, my greediness
1.) Lord says Rob, I want to remodel you
C.) So each week given opportunity to give in doing so - part of my covetousness, selfishness, greediness - goes away
1.) God is a giver! John 3:16 - Gave his Son - He gives grace!
D.) God wants to remodel me in making me a giver!
1.) tithing not God's way raising funds - He doesn't need it - It is God's way of raising kids!
B.) Abraham was an alter builder - result - altered life!
1.) One way he worshiped was by giving!
So response to God's love! Remodels me - giver; faith
#3 Reveals me!
A.) Giving can really reveal where my heart is and my interests are!
1.) Where I am investing is where my heart will be?
B.) Jesus said store up treasure in heaven! Where treasure is - heart will be there also
1.) Stocks? or some investment Follow it - until sell it - no interest!
C.) First dating - me - $700 a month gross - rent was 425.00 - but I found a way to take her out! It was love! I wanted to invest
D.) If I am truly in love with the Lord and excited about the Lord's work - I will give! Reveals me!
Here Abraham had taken in this great plunder and the first thing he does - is give to the Lord.
A.) Revealed where his heart was at!
4th - Giving Protects me - v.21-24
A.) The implication here is powerful - the King of Sodom comes out - Sodom = perversity - King of Perversity - world
1) "Take the goods Abe- it is yours " that is what the world seeks to do entice us w/ toys & trinkets
B) Note Abe response v22 " I have lifted my hand to the Lord - God most High , possessor of heaven & earth
1) I will take nothing from you !"
C) The implication is this because Abe had given to the Lord his heart followed & he was protected from the ensnarement of the world
The temptation of the world in this day & age is strong ,
but as we invest in the things of the kingdom hearts follow
5th Last - Giving Prepares you !
A) One of the principles that we see continually mentioned in scripture is if faithful in little things exalted in much
B) Luke 16 Jesus gives teaching of the unjust steward - illustrating
how giving prepares us !
1) In this teaching said this: " The man who is unfaithful w/
unrighteous mammon will not be entrusted w/ true rich
2) i.e. spiritual riches
C) what we do now w/ what we have prepares us for what the Lord
has for us in the future The Lord wants us to realize this
D) In Mal. 3:8-10 the Lord puts it this way
MAL 3:8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings.
You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.
MAL 3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.
The Lord says in effect put me to the test & see if you are
not blessed !
A) Here is the key though & where the faith teachers are wrong God
says I will open the very windows of heaven & bless you
B) Might mean materially - might be spiritually , might even be in eternity ; but Pt. is you will be blessed !
C) Paul had this to say in 2Cor. 9:6,7 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
In closing if you have been one who has been negative to tithing
I want to say that is understandable - this day & age
1) His chance to remodel you ! To make you a giver like
Him / teach you to live by faith !
C) to Protect you by revealing your heart / and keeping you
focused on the Kingdom
1) Prepares us for what He has for us
Listen God doesn't need our money but we need to Give!