Abram sat near the door to his tent, enjoying the fresh breeze. Suddenly he stood up and put his hand above his eyes to shade the sun. He could see a man running toward him. Abram walked out to meet him.
“Oh, Abram,” the man panted. “There’s been a great battle. The king of Sodom and four other kings went to war against their enemies.” The man took more deep breaths.
Abram looked worried. His nephew, Lot, lived in Sodom. “What happened?” Abram asked.
“The king of Sodom and the four other kings lost the battle. The enemy kings captured Sodom and another city. They carried away all the food and the gold and the animals and the people. They took your nephew, Lot, and his family.”
“You rest here,” Abram said, then went to pray. He asked God to guide him.
Soon after, Abram gathered his soldiers and told them his plan. Three neighbors and their men joined him. They would find the enemy kings and follow them. But they would wait to attack until the enemy had made camp for the night.
That night they surprised the enemy kings. The startled enemy kings ran away, leaving behind the gold, the food, the animals, and the people.
“Oh, Uncle,” exclaimed Lot when he saw Abram, “I am so glad to see you!”
“Let’s go home,” Abram said. So the people gathered the gold and the food and the animals, and followed Abram. Abram had won the battle, and that gave him the right to keep those people and all their things if he wanted to.
As they neared Lot’s home, two men came out to meet them. Melchizedek, the king of a city named Salem and a priest of God, brought food to Abram and his men. He blessed Abram and said, “God Most High delivered your enemies into your hand.”
Abram knew that God had won the victory for him. He was so grateful that he gave God’s tithe—one of every ten animals and pieces of gold— to Melchizedek, God’s priest.
The other man, the king of Sodom, said to Abram, “Give me back the people, and keep everything else for yourself.” He knew they should all belong to Abram because Abram won the battle.
But Abram didn’t want anything. “I didn’t go to battle to get rich,” he said. “And I will accept nothing.” Abram asked just for the food his men had already eaten, and for shares for the three neighbors who helped him. Abram was happy to serve others out of love.
We can serve others out of love too.