Abram to the Rescue
Genesis 14; Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 134-136
I will serve others out of love.
“Serve one another . . . in love” (Galatians 5:13).
When elderly Mr. Gomez became sick and had to spend a long time in the hospital, Rani, Cameron, Aiden, and Ariana decided to help Mrs. Gomez. Without saying a word, they cut her grass and cleaned her yard . . . and would not accept any money.
All the way home they felt as if they were walking on air. And that must have been exactly the feeling that Abram had the day he met Melchizedek.
It all started when four great enemy kings led their huge army to war against five little cities. One of the little cities was Sodom. Abram’s nephew Lot lived in Sodom. The kings of the five little cities took their armies into the Valley of Siddim.
“We can surprise the four great enemy kings,” they said. “Let us stop their army and save our cities.”
And so King Bera of Sodom led the way. But it didn’t go as planned. They got lost among the huge tar pits in the valley. Many of the soldiers fell into the tar.
The four great enemy kings knew their way around the tar pits. They soon got to the city of Sodom. Enemy soldiers captured the people, including Lot. They carried the people and many of their animals and other things away.
One captive escaped and ran to tell Abram what had happened. “The four great enemy kings attacked us. Your nephew Lot is captured, along with all his family,” the man reported.
At once Abram called his 318 men who were trained to fight. He also asked three of his neighbors, who were leaders, to bring their people to join with him. Together they hurried after the four great enemy kings.
Imagine Abram and his little band chasing after four great enemy kings and their thousands of trained soldiers. Surely they would destroy Abram’s little group.
But Abram had God on his side. Surely Abram prayed for God’s help all the way north to Dan, where he caught up with the four great enemy kings.
During the night Abram and his men made a surprise attack. The four great enemy kings thought that they were completely surrounded by a huge army. They dropped everything and ran. They left the captives, all the stolen things from Sodom, and their own things. The frightened soldiers ran all the way north past Damascus, to Hobah.
Lot and the other captives from Sodom were soon set free. Everyone began gathering up the things left by the defeated enemy kings. Soon they began traveling back toward Sodom. How happy Abram was—God had used him to save Lot and all the families from Sodom.
On the way home, Abram’s band entered the Valley of Shaveh, not far from where Jerusalem is today. There the king of Sodom came out to meet them. Imagine how impressed this king must have been. Abram, his herdsmen, and his three neighbors had, with God’s help, done what five kings could not.
Melchizedek, king of Salem, and a priest who served God also came to welcome Abram and the others. Melchizedek brought food and drink for Abram and his men. The kingly priest prayed over Abram and blessed him, saying: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth . . . who delivered your enemies into your hand” (Genesis 14:19, 20).
Abram knew that God gave him the victory, so he gladly counted out all the silver and gold and flocks that he brought back. He gave the kingly priest God’s tithe of everything—one of every ten animals, pieces of silver, and pieces of gold.
The king of Sodom saw all the things Abram gave as tithe. Gratefully, he told Abram to keep for himself all the rest. “Give me the people and keep the goods” (verse 21), he said. But Abram would not take anything for himself. He asked only for the share that the neighbors who had helped him were owed. Abram was happy to serve others just for the love of helping them.