Genesis 13:14-16 The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are,
to the north and south, to the east and west. 15 All the land that you see I
will give to you and your offspring forever. 16
I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone
could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted.
Abraham was probably pretty sad
about this whole thing. But God never promised us that in following Him we
wouldn’t experience loss or suffering. Usually it’s a temporary loss with a
purpose. Jesus states in Matthew 16:24-26 that those who lose for God’s sake
gain far more than they ever give up. And that’s what happened with Abraham.
God came to Abraham and told him to lift up his eyes to see what God had for
him. This included all of Canaan, including Lot’s
land! And all that land was not only for himself, but for his offspring
13:17-18 Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it
to you.” 18 So Abram went to live near the great trees of
Mamre at Hebron,
where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the Lord.
Genesis 14:1-12 At the time when Amraphel was king of
Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam and Tidal king of
Goyim, 2 these kings went to war against Bera king of
Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboyim,
and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). 3 All
these latter kings joined forces in the Valley
of Siddim (that is, the Dead Sea Valley). 4 For twelve years they had been subject to
Kedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him went out and
defeated the Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in
Shaveh Kiriathaim 6 and the Horites in the hill country of Seir, as
far as El Paran near the desert.
turned back and went to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and they conquered the
whole territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who were living in
the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboyim
and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) marched out and drew up their battle lines
in the Valley of Siddim 9 against Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of
Goyim, Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar—four kings against
five. 10 Now the Valley of Siddim
was full of tar pits, and when the kings of Sodom
fled, some of the men fell into them and the rest fled to the hills. 11 The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah
and all their food; then they went away. 12
They also carried off Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, since he
was living in Sodom.
Fourteen years before Lot’s capture the five petty kings who ruled in the
region called the Vale of Siddim were suddenly invaded by four powerful kings
from the East. This took place on the eastern bank of the Dead
Sea. The conquered kings of Lot’s
area were forced to pay tribute to their conquerors for twelve years. Sodom and her four allies
decided in the thirteenth year to refuse payment. The four conquerors viewed this
as rebellion. They returned to quell the rebellion and to collect their tribute
from the five kings. Verses five through seven give a blow by blow description
of their victorious passage south and west.
The kings of Sodom
heard about all the people these kings were conquering on their way to battle
them. They gathered together and determined to make a last ditch effort to
stand against the eastern kings. In spite of the strength of their invaders,
they felt they possessed a natural defense in the great slime pits of the Valley of Siddim where they planned to engulf
their enemies. These pits were great holes from which liquid petroleum had
previously been removed. Possible the holes were still partially filled with
the bubbling liquid.
However instead of being their
place of victory it became their place of defeat. They were forced backwards by
the attacking kings and fell into the holes themselves. Others fled to the
mountains. The enemy plundered and looted all of Sodom
and Gomorrah and then began their return trip
taking many captives, including Lot and his possessions, back to Shinar to
become their slaves.
Genesis 14: 13-16 A man who had escaped came and reported this
to Abram the Hebrew. Now Abram was living near the great trees of Mamre the
Amorite, a brother of Eshkol and Aner, all of whom were allied with Abram. 14 When
Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318
trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 During the night Abram divided his men to
attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of
Damascus. 16 He recovered all the
goods and brought back his relative Lot and
his possessions, together with the women and the other people.
There are three things we should
notice about this rescue. First Abraham didn’t hold a grudge against Lot and he was more then willing to help. He personally
had nothing to gain from this and he risked his own life. Second, the fact that Abraham could assemble
318 armed servants at a moment’s notice gives clear evidence of Abraham’s
wealth. Abraham was a trader rich in silver, gold and cattle. His armed
servants would be employed to protect his flocks and possessions. Also this is
the first time in Scripture the word Hebrew is used to describe him. He also
asked his three neighboring chieftains to help, indicating the good
relationship he had with those who lived near him. Thirdly, in view of how many
people the kings of the east defeated it seems unbelievable that Abraham would
go after them. And win!
He marched 200 miles north to Dan
on the northern boundary of Canaan and
defeated the four great powers there. Then went another hundred miles as far as
Hobah, northeast of Damascus,
until he had recovered everything.
Labels: Abraham, book of Genesis, Genesis, Lot