Lot Moves to Sodom
After barely escaping from Egypt with his wife and his life, Abram took everything he owned and moved back to Canaan where he had first erected an altar to God. God graciously gave him a fresh start in the land he had been promised. All along the journey from Ur, to Harran, to Canaan, to Egypt, and back to Canaan again, both Abram and his nephew Lot continued to accumulate livestock and wealth. But too many possessions caused great family dissension. It was time for Lot to go out on his own. Abram tried to minimize the conflict they were having over property boundaries by giving Lot first choice of the land for his herds. Abram would settle in the opposite direction, taking all his animals with him. Lot chose the most beautiful and fertile land. It was a selfish decision and turned out to be a disastrous one. The spot he chose was very close to the wicked city of Sodom. Eventually he was foolish enough to move inside the city gates. Lot was Abram’s last attachment to the old life that God had asked him to leave behind. Once Lot was gone, God repeated the covenant promises He had previously made with the father of his new nation. He showed Abram the boundaries of his new land and promised to fill it with his descendants. It would belong to his family forever. Just because God gave the land to Abram didn’t mean that he didn’t have to fight for it—and for his relatives. Some time later, the kings of five city-states in the south (including Sodom and Gomorrah) formed an alliance to fight against a king named Kedorlaomer and three other kings from the north. The southern alliance didn’t do so well, and Kedorlaomer and his troops plundered their cities and took off with their wives and children. Since Lot lived so close to Sodom, all his possessions were captured and he was kidnapped as collateral damage. When Abram heard about this, he gathered 318 men who were all part of his household and headed off to rescue Lot. They pursued the looters all the way to the city of Dan in the north. In a stealthy night operation, they routed the bad guys and recovered all the goods—along with Lot and the others who had been kidnapped. On his way home, two kings came to meet Abram and congratulate him. One was Melchizedek, the king of Salem (later renamed Jeru-salem). He was also a priest. He blessed Abram and gave praise to God for the victory. Abram gave Melchizedek 10% of everything he had as a “thank you” gift to God. The king of Sodom also met him. He wanted Abram to keep all the goods for himself and return only the wives and children. Abram declined his offer. He returned everything, because he didn’t want to be obligated to anyone but God.
What is your response when someone you care about makes life difficult for you?
Do you try to make it tough on them, too?
Or are you willing to settle for less than you might deserve in order to keep the peace?
Sometimes it’s harder to be a peacemaker than a fighter!