March 10 I Wednesday
“When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men… He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.” —Genesis 14:14, 16
When Abram heard that his nephew Lot was taken captive, he did not idle. He led 318 trained men who not only recovered Lot, but also all the people who were citizens of Sodom as well as their possessions. Upon Abram’s return, he met two people in the Valley of Shaveh, which is also known as the King’s Valley.
Genesis 14:18-20 tells us what happened with the first person: “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.’ Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” Melchizedek not only greeted Abram with food, but also with blessings. As a response, filled with gratitude, Abram chose to give him a tenth of everything. In the New Testament, we get more depth into the character of Melchizedek through Hebrews 7:2-3, “First, the name Melchizedek means ‘king of righteousness’; then also, ‘king of Salem’ means ‘king of peace’...resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest for ever.” In the Old Testament, Melchizedek is seen as a type of Christ, a foreshadow of the coming Christ.
The second person Abram met with was the king of Sodom, which we could describe as the king of pride. He was haughty, arrogant, devious and dishonest. He told Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself” (Genesis 14:21). To begin, the king of Sodom had no right to make any claim upon the plunder of the possessions; he lost his kingdom. But there was a subtle message behind what the king of Sodom was offering, a sense of “you owe me.” What the king of Sodom offered sounds similar to Jesus being tempted in the wilderness and the devil saying, “All this I will give you, if You will bow down and worship me” (Matthew 4:9). Abram was faced with a choice—would he choose to keep the plunder?
Abram told the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, that I will accept nothing belonging to you…so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich’” (Genesis 14:22-23). Abram’s response revealed his steadfast faith in El Shaddai, God Almighty, who is able to provide for his provision.
How do we respond when we receive blessings from God? Do we humbly offer up thankful praises or do we arrogantly think that it is a reward that we deserve?
Prayer: Glorious King, how worthy are You to be praised! Thank You for blessing me with life and breath. Amen!