Genesis 14

* The battle of the kings, Lot is taken prisoner. (1-12) Abram

rescues Lot. (13-16) Melchizedek blesses Abram. (17-20) Abram

restores the spoil. (21-24)

1-12 The wars of nations make great figure in history, but we

should not have had the record of this war if Abram and Lot had

not been concerned. Out of covetousness, Lot had settled in

fruitful, but wicked Sodom. Its inhabitants were the most ripe

for vengeance of all the descendants of Canaan. The invaders

were from Chaldea and Persia, then only small kingdoms. They

took Lot among the rest, and his goods. Though he was righteous,

and Abram's brother's son, yet he was with the rest in this

trouble. Neither our own piety, nor our relation to the

favourites of Heaven, will be our security when God's judgments

are abroad. Many an honest man fares the worse for his wicked

neighbours: it is our wisdom to separate, or at least to

distinguish ourselves from them, #2Co 6:17|. So near a relation

of Abram should have been a companion and a disciple of Abram.

If he chose to dwell in Sodom, he must thank himself if he share

in Sodom's losses. When we go out of the way of our duty, we put

ourselves from under God's protection, and cannot expect that

the choice made by our lusts, should end to our comfort. They

took Lot's goods; it is just with God to deprive us of

enjoyments, by which we suffer ourselves to be deprived of the

enjoyment of him.
13-16 Abram takes this opportunity to give a real proof of his

being truly friendly to Lot. We ought to be ready to succour

those in distress, especially relations and friends. And though

others may have been wanting in their duty to us, yet we must

not neglect our duty to them. Abram rescued the captives. As we

have opportunity, we must do good to all.
17-20 Melchizedek is spoken of as a king of Salem, supposed to

be the place afterwards called Jerusalem, and it is generally

thought that he was only a man. The words of the apostle, #Heb

7:3|, state only, that the sacred history has said nothing of

his ancestors. The silence of the Scriptures on this, is to

raise our thoughts to Him, whose generation cannot be declared.

Bread and wine were suitable refreshment for the weary followers

of Abram; and it is remarkable that Christ appointed the same as

the memorials of his body and blood, which are meat and drink

indeed to the soul. Melchizedek blessed Abram from God. He

blessed God from Abram. We ought to give thanks for other's

mercies as for our own. Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, is

the Mediator both of our prayers and praises, and not only

offers up ours, but his own for us. Abram gave him the tenth of

the spoils, #Heb 7:4|. When we have received some great mercy

from God, it is very fit we should express our thankfulness by

some special act of pious charity. Jesus Christ, our great

Melchisedek, is to have homage done him, and to be humbly

acknowledged as our King and Priest; not only the tithe of all,

but all we have, must be given up to him.
21-24 Observe the king of Sodom's grateful offer to Abram, Give

me the souls, and take thou the substance. Gratitude teaches us

to recompense to the utmost of our power, those that have

undergone fatigues, run hazards, and been at expense for our

service and benefit. Abram generously refused this offer. He

accompanies his refusal with a good reason, Lest thou shouldest

say, I have made Abram rich: which would reflect upon the

promise promise and covenant of God, as if He would not have

enriched Abraham without the spoils of Sodom. The people of God

must, for their credit's sake, take heed of doing any thing that

looks mean or mercenary, or that savors of covetousness and

self-seeking. Abraham can trust the Possessor of Heaven and

earth to provide for him.
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