In Genesis 14, the king of Sodom and some other kings went out to war,
to oppose an invading horde that was conquering the region.
They lost, so the conquering horde plundered the cities of
the losing kings. Sodom
was plundered by the invaders: the riches (“goods”) of the town, and they
hauled off the people to be their slaves.
As part of their plundering, they carried off Abraham’s
nephew Lot, who lived some distance away from
the cities in the valley.
Abraham gathered up his own army, drawing heavily on his
employees and friends, and defeated the invading horde that had just conquered
and plundered the valley.
I’ve read this story (1) a thousand times. This morning,
some new thoughts crossed my mind.
was not part of the
war, but he was taken in the plundering anyway. I’m feeling Father inviting me
to look at the war going on around me: is it my war, or am I being plundered because
of someone else’s war?
• Uncle Abraham wasn’t trying to rescue five kings and five
cities. He was rescuing his nephew (2). It also happens that we experience
breakthrough as a side-effect of someone else’s breakthrough. Those might be
worth looking for, too.
• I observe that Abraham’s relationships based on relationship,
rather than on gathering for warfare. (3) (They were “allies”; Hebrew: “Men of
covenant.”) At least in this situation, the covenant relationship seemed to
contribute to the victory in battle over what appeared to be superior forces.
• That happened to Lot a second time a few chapters later,
but this time (thanks to Uncle Abraham’s prayers), the angels chased Lot
& his family out of the city before the city was
destroyed. This time, Lot
was nearly destroyed
by the consequences of someone else’s sins (4).
• When Sodom
were destroyed, that
was “Because the outcry against [them] is great.” It was in direct response to
somebody’s crying out over the city. (5) The things we say about a city will have great
consequences. In this vein, I’m tired of folks cursing New
DC and San Francisco
I guard my mouth against even casually saying things that, if taken literally,
would result in “stealing killing and destruction;” that’s someone else’s job
and I WILL NOT help him. (5½)
• It was Abraham’s prayers for the people of Sodom
& his family. I suspect that if he’d
had the nerve to keep going, he could have averted the entire judgment, but
that is only conjecture. Clearly God does look for people to cry for mercy. (6)
It’s probably good to be one of the people that cry for mercy. God goes out of
his way to find these folks.
(2) Genesis 14:14
(3) Genesis 14:13
(4) Genesis 19:15
(5) see also: https://bit.ly/2Tvx7hb
(5½) John 10:10
(6) Ge 18:23-33. See also Exodus 32:10-14; Ezekiel 22:30;
Isaiah 59:16; Jeremiah 5:1; Psalm 106.23