Dr. Jack L. Arnold Equipping
Pastors International Genesis
Separation To The Covenant (Continued)
A. Chapter 14 tells us how God works in and through a believer
who is in fellowship with his God. Abram, yielded to God, is faced with crisis
and temptation. NOTE. The person
who walks with God will be in conflict with the world, the flesh and the Devil.
B. This chapter was one of the beachheads where the higher
critic made his attack upon the integrity of the Book of Genesis. The kings
mentioned here could not be found in secular history for a long while. Archeology
has changed all this and the kings can be identified and this particular battle
has become a fascinating subject for historians.
II. VICTORY IN COMBAT 14:1-16
A. The Slaughter of the Kings (1-12)
1. Four Mesopotamian kings (Amraphel,
Arioch, Chedorlamer, Tidal) were warring with five kings (Bera, Birsha, Shinab,
Sherneber, Zoar), who occupied the general area around the Jordan Valley or the
present Dead Sea. These five kings had paid tribute to Chedorlamer for 12 years
and were now rebelling (1-4).
2. The Mesopotamian kings made war against
the Rephaims, Zuzims, Emims and Horitos in the Jordan Valley. They swept
through the valley and conquered it. Then they turned around and came through
the valley from another direction and made war with the Amalekites, Amorites
and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Bela. Chedorlamer and
the other three kings demoralized and wiped out much of their enemies’ armies,
and those who lived in the Jordan Valley fled to the highlands of Noab (5-10).
NOTE. This invasion by-passed
Abram because he trusted in God and God was protecting him.
3. The importance of this invasion is to
show its effects upon Sodom and Gomorrah, for these kings were soundly defeated
and fled to the hills (10), their cities were sacked (11) and they captured Lot
B. The Saving of Lot (13-16)
1. One who had escaped from battle in
desperation flees to Abram to tell him what happened to Lot.
Abram is here identified as a Hebrew, which means “the crossing-over one”.
This is a testimony to Abram’s faith, for he crossed over into the land, he
crossed over territorial boundaries to fight for God and he crossed over the
line to trust God.
2. Abram had three men and their armies
confederate with him: Aner, Eschol and Mamre. Perhaps they were new converts,
for Abram was a witness for Jehovah God.
3. Abram set out to rescue Lot. Abram did
not have a bitter spirit towards Lot, but did what was
right before God. He becomes a dashing and daring figure as he responds quickly
to the emergency. His faith displays itself in his willingness to involve
himself for another’s sake without hesitating to play it safe.
4. Abram mobilizes 318 of his trained men
who join with the confederates of the area. He moves the small force 120 miles
to the north, probably at a torrid pace to overtake the conquering army as
soon as possible. The encounter comes at Dan, at the northern extremity of
Palestine. His tactics, much like those of Gideon and his 300 soldiers in
Judges 9, involve striking with separate commando units to give the impression
that a great army is attacking.
The enemy soldiers are caught completely off guard, seized with
panic, and put to flight in all directions from the encampment wondering what
hit them. As the survivors picked their way back toward the north, they were
pursued into Syria (15). Abram, heroic leader of his attackers, took Lot and
turned homeward (16). NOTE. From
Abram we learn, “If God be for us, who can be against
us!” And from Lot we learn that the carnal man is always unthankful, for
there is no record of Lot’s appreciation to Abram for the rescue and his real
contempt is shown in his return to Sodom.
III. VICTORY IN TRIUMPH 14:17-20
A. The King of Sodom (14:17). The King of Sodom, who is
never up to anything good, went out to meet Abram. The king of Sodom is Satan’s
adversary and he wants to make a deal with Abram. NOTE. When the Lord gives the Christian great
victory, the Devil is close behind.
B. King of Salem (18-20)
the king of Sodom could get to Abram, he was met by the king of Salem. This king’s name was Melchizedek, which means “king
of righteousness.” Who is Melchizedek?
a. A Human. Most scholars say he was an actual
earthly man of that day and was king and priest of Salem representing the true
God. He was the king of Salem (earlier name of Jerusalem), which is an actual
place. In Hebrews 7, when it says that Melchizedek was without mother, without
descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life” (7:3), it means
that there is no recorded history of his genealogy.
b. The Pre-Incarnate Christ. Melchizedek was a theophany, actually
being the pre-incarnate Christ. The word salem
(Shalom) in Hebrew means “peace” so we may assume that He is not being called
the king of a place, Jerusalem, but the King of Peace. He is the king of
righteousness and peace, who in reality is Christ. He was without father and
mother and without beginning or ending which literally speaks of eternality
(Heb. 7:1-21). NOTE. This is
significant because Christ is the high priest after the order of Melchizedek
(Psa. 110:4; Heb. 7).
2. Melchizedek brought bread and wine which may picture to us the body and blood of Christ.
This is the only time bread and wine are mentioned together except when Christ
set them forth in the Lord’s Table.
blessed Abram, and Abram gave a tenth of all his spoils to the priest of the
Most High God. NOTE. Abram gave a
tenth of the spoils to God, which may indicate that tithing was practiced
before the Mosaic Law, and may be part of the moral law for New Testament
giving. sacrificial giving.
4. Abram knew that God had given him the
victory and he worshipped God, knowing that God was carrying out his promise of
personal blessing from the Abrahamic Covenant. NOTE. Abram was victorious in triumph because he was humble before
IV. VICTORY IN TEMPTATION 14:2-24
A. The Temptation (21). Now Abram goes from worship to
warfare again. This time he will face an even more subtle type of warfare than
meeting a physical enemy. His test is to involve spiritual wickedness in the
heavenlies, confronting him through the worldly king of Sodom and the choice
and motive he could express. The King of Sodom makes a crafty offer. Abram was
to keep the spoils and release the captives back to Sodom. Perhaps the king of
Sodom wanted men to think that Abram had gained his wealth dishonestly,
and thus obscure the secret of the victory, which was Abram’s God.
B. The Victory (22-24)
1. Abram refuses all the spoils, though he
thoughtfully allows the confederates with him to take what they might claim the
right to have, NOTE. Abram has
very high standards for himself as a mature believer, but he did not impose
these same standards on his three young converts. He is operating on the
grace principle, allowing each one to make up his own mind so as to grow in
2. Abram refused these spoils because (1)
he wanted to testify to the true source of his blessing, which was God; (2) he
desires to avoid obligating himself to the worldly king, a relationship he
could live to regret; and (3) Abram discerned in the offer the temptation to
take one big step toward becoming identified with the life of Sodom. NOTE. Abram was victorious over temptation
because he was in fellowship with his God.