Genesis 14:1-16 For ONE Man

God gave Abram wisdom in battle to win his kinsman’s freedom.

Abram goes to “war” because one of his kinsmen has been captured. Lot was taken, with all he owned, when war broke out near Sodom. Abram goes after him to liberate him.

Lot took the fork in the road that lead to Sodom. We are not told if Lot’s men stood on the side of Sodom in the fight or if he watched from the sidelines. But we are told that he got swept up in the plunder taken from that battle. By this time he was living “in” Sodom and no longer “near its gates.”

We are given a little bit of history and a way to find this battle in history. Moses, through the Holy Spirit, wanted to give us historical references so we could check out ourselves. When Lot first moved to this area all was quiet. He wasn’t expecting war to break out. He just wanted the lush green grasses and easy access to goods and services.

This was a four against five war. The four won. We don’t know if it was because of superior numbers, fighting skills, or familiarity with the terrain that gave them the advantage. Apparently the five were not familiar with the country as, when trying to withdraw, some of them fell in tar pits. NOT a fun way to die. But someone did make it out and he knew just where to go and what to say.

He came to Abram and told of Lot’s capture. Abram’s allies were also told; Mamre, Eshcol, and )Aner. These went with him to liberate Lot. These are not kings with huge armies to command. These are small cities and their rulers who had formed a mutual respect and protection pact with Abram. Abram would have stayed completely out of this war if it weren’t for Lot’s capture.

I’m no great battle tactician but to me, the number Abram brought to this battle should not have prevailed. These four kings had just succeeded in plundering their neighbors. Their numbers may have been decreased but Abram only brought 318 men with him. Yes, they were trained in the skills of combat but they were few in number, as far as forces go. We don’t know how many men from his allies accompanied him but I still can’t see their forces outnumbering those who had just made off with the goods. But, fortunately for Lot, Abram WAS a tactician. He knew how to fight a battle. He also had something that NONE of the other kings had. He had God on his side! I believe he could have gone out on his own and still prevailed because of that one fact.

Abram and company defeated the conquers and liberated all that was lost. “Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people” (verse 16). He left no one behind. Moral of this story; don’t mess with the man of God’s relatives. They may have been separated by distance but they weren’t by heart. Abram took family ties VERY seriously. I wonder if he knew or cared about how Lot was living at the time.

Tomorrow we will look at what happened when our “little” band of rescuers return home. Spoiler alert: Lot goes right back to Sodom.

Father God, it’s hard when you try and help someone and they go right back to what they were doing before everything went south. I know I’m getting ahead of the story here but that is what I’m thinking about. All the work that Abram and YOU went through to get Lot out of trouble and he walks right back into it. I’ve been in Lot’s shoes more than once and I want to say right now, THANK YOU for your grace and mercy when I did so. I’ve also been in Abram’s shoes when I help someone just to see them turn right back around and get right back in trouble.

But that isn’t really today’s lesson is it. What I want to take from today is even more important. With YOU on my side, NOTHING is impossible. Also, love my family with all my heart, even when I don’t approve of what they are doing. That’s what Abram did. He went after Lot to free him from captivity. He didn’t judge him or even say, “He got himself into this mess, he can get himself out of it too.” He went out immediately to get him back. The rest of the captives and spoils just came along for the ride. Abram’s true aim was Lot’s freedom. Thank You for that “love lesson” reminder.

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