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10. Battles and Blessings

June 23, 2009

Text:    Genesis 13:1-14:24

Key Verses:   Genesis 14:19-20

Outline:     I. Abram and Lot Separate       Gen. 13:1-13

II. Abram’s Blessing Affirmed      Gen. 13:14-18

III. War Breaks out              Gen. 14:1-16

IV. Abram is Blessed       Gen. 14:17-24

Context/Discussion/Comments:

Abram’s family plus Lot’s family return from Egypt to the Negev. Abram was very wealthy, having much livestock, silver, and gold. They leave the Negev and go on to Shechem, near Bethel, where they began in Canaan. But this area was unable to support the flocks and herds of both Lot and Abram, causing their herdsman to quarrel with each other. They even quarreled with the Canaanites and Perizzites living in the area. So Abram suggests they part ways, separating their flocks. Lot is given his choice and chooses the Jordan River valley where the grass is green and there is plenty of water [the choice land]. Lot finally settles in Sodom where the people were wicked and sin against God.

Abram stays in Canaan near Bethel and receives assurance from the Lord that his descendents will someday possess all the land he sees to the north, east, south, and west. His descendents will be great in number. Thus, a portion of God’s original promise/blessing is affirmed by God. Abram was instructed to explore the land and , in so doing, he decides to settle in Hebron and build an altar to the Lord there.

Five kings in the area of Sodom decide to rebel against 4 kings from the north, probably as far away as Babylon. These two armies meet in the Valley of Siddim at the south end of the Dead Sea. The army of the four kings routs the army of the five kings. They are overtaken, their goods taken as plunder, and Lot, his family, and his possessions are captured near Sodom and taken northward.

Abram hears about the plight of Lot, organizes an army of 318 men, and pursues the army holding Lot captive. He catches up to them at Dan, routes the army of the four kings, and chases them to Damascus where Lot, his family, his possessions, and the goods taken from the army of the fives kings are taken back.

Upon returning to Canaan, Abram is met by the King of Sodom and welcomed home. Abram is also met by the King of Salem, Melchizedek, who is also a priest. Melchizedek brings bread and wine with him to celebrate the safe return of Abram, the people, and all their possessions. Melchizedek immediately blesses Abram on behalf of The Most High God and blesses God who delivered Abram’s enemies into his hand. Abram recognizes Melchizedek also serves the living God and gives him a tenth of the spoils. The King of Sodom responds by saying Abram can keep the rest of the spoils, just let the people return home. That’s his way of thanking Abram for what he did. But Abram refuses, taking nothing. He wants everyone to know that his God is responsible for the victory and that any riches Abram receives will come from God’s hand and not the hand of man. Melchizedek’s blessing was a higher and greater reward than all of the spoils. Only Abram’s army was awarded a portion of the spoils.

Lessons/Applications:

1. Wealth brings friction, even among relatives. If you are blessed with wealth, learn to be a peacemaker.

2. Letting God be God brings assurance. Involve God in your decisions and receive peace of mind and the Peace of God.

3. Wicked men do wicked things [Sodom]. Righteous men do righteous things [Abram]. Sometimes the righteous are caught in the crossfire of the wicked [Lot].

4. Correcting a wrong takes leadership, organization, respect, persistence, and trust in God.

5. We are blessed by God and honored by man for doing a job well done.

6. True wealth and riches comes from depending on God, not from depending on man.

7. Worship the true King of Kings seeking to influence and have a positive impact on those who worship false gods. Those who refuse to believe will consider the true God based upon the acts of the righteous.

The abundant life is not about being fair or just;

it is about taking the “high road” and depending on the Lord.

Trust God, Receive His Blessing, and Worship Him!

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