They came out to meet him in the valley and each attempted to honor him in his own way. Melchizedek brought bread and wine and blessed Abram with a prayer of blessing from God and honoring to God. Abram gave him a tenth of everything. Sodom focused on possessions. He wanted the people and to leave Abram with all other possessions. Abram said he swore an oath to God to not take anything, even a sandal strap. But the other kings should receive their share.
I am your shield. I am your great reward
He had just stood up to a king of a wicked people and given up a great amount of wealth and riches. He had delivered a message to the king of Sodom that God was against him. But, more so, I think he had fear for his nephew Lot. Lot must have chosen to go right back into sin city. Abram would have had great fear for his nephew. Not to read ahead, but he doesn’t consider Lot to be a viable heir, but instead his only living heir is a servant he acquired.
God tells us to not be afraid, over and over again. But it is hard. We make so many decisions and there is such uncertainty in this life it is hard not to be afraid and not to have second thoughts. It is easy to look back on each decision and have doubts and questions: did I make the right choice. But God calls us to have confidence and to shed the fear because God works all for His glory. It is not whether I make the right decision, but how I make the decision that matters most to God. Do I rely on myself or put my trust in Him with the intent to bring glory to Him?
My Daily Journal:
Question 8 was my pivotal question this week.
Here comes Abram marching back into the Valley of the Kings. He is victorious. He is accompanied not only with his entire army but with all the people and possessions. To the victor go the spoils. This all belongs to Abram.
The valley he walks in to must have been somber. Not only had all the local kings been defeated in battle, but their cities had been sacked and raided, their people had all been hauled off as slaves. It says the armies took ALL of their food. The kings had fled from the battle, leaving their soldiers to be trapped in tarpits. The few soldiers that did escape fled to the hills, but you cannot imagine they maintain any loyalty to these defeated and cowardly kings.
In comes mighty Abram and out come Melchizedek and the King of Sodom. With one swipe of his sword Abram could kill the king and place himself on the throne over the entire valley. Not even his own sword would be required, he had an army of fighting men with him loyal to his word or hand gesture.
The contrasts in this meeting are so rich. Look at this:
The first words out of the mouth of the King of Salem are: “Blessed Be.”
Abram’s response is to give him a tenth of everything. Note, he does not ask permission of anyone else. All of this is Abram’s to give or keep as he sees fit.
Next is the King of Sodom. His first words are “Give me.”
Abram responds, “With raised hand”
While the King of Sodom is trying to put on a good front, it has to realize that with one motion of that raised hand he is dead. But instead of raising his hand against this wicked King, Abram says, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth”
What an amazing and powerful scene that is such a strong lesson to us. Are my thoughts and words first to bless others or to get for myself. Do I raise my hand against others or raise it in praise and promise to my solemn Lord?