Summary: After his victory in battle, Abraham's faith is tested to see if he will respond to blessing as well as adversity. This story asks us to evaluate how will we respond to God's blessings.
Genesis 14:17–24 "After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). " "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) " "And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; " "and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. " "And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.” " "But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted my hand to the Lord, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, " "that I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ " "I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me. Let Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre take their share.”"
This sermon could be a message on Stewardship. However, The subject is broader than just stewardship. Abram is returning from his victory over the kings of the east. God has blessed Abram with a great blessing that was impossible from a human point of view. Abram's test of faith was NOT OVER. Now we will see if Abram responds to Blessing as well as he responded to adversity. He had demonstrated FAITH by trusting the Lord to help him rescue LOT.
NOW, his faith is tested in another way.
HOW WILL HE RESPOND to GOD'S BLESSINGS?
We take God's blessings for granted. How often do we recognize God’s blessings in these areas?
During a rain storms in the middle of the night, do you say, “Thank you for a dry place to sleep?"
When you take the daily prescriptions that help keep you healthy, do you say to the Lord, "Thank you for medicine?"
Students, when was the last time you thanked the Lord for your teachers that assist in your education?
How about your daily food?
Or your job, your car?
One of the greatest insults to God is praying for something and then neglecting to thank God when he answers!
Let’s begin by looking at the Circumstances surrounding Abram’s response of praise.
Abram’s pursuit of Chedarlaomer took him as far north as the foot of Mt. Hermon, in the territory of Dan (Gen 14:14). He now returns via the Jordan valley, to the "Valley of Shaveh.” This was most likely the place later called the Kidron valley, the valley that runs between the hilltop city of Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives. During this journey, nothing is recorded from LOT. We will not read about him again until Genesis 19:1.
The focus here is the Contrast between Two Kings,
Bera, King of Sodom- An illustration of the allurement of the WORLD. 14:14:17
and Melchizedek, the King of Salem (Jerusalem).
The last we saw Bera he was fleeing for his life. The only escape was the tar pits. I wonder if he was still covered in tar when he came out to meet Abram. (Genesis 14:2)
The King of Sodom asks Abram for the people. He had no right to ask for anything! Like the world, Bera has has nothing to offer.
In contrast, we see Melchizedek, King of Salem, who is a picture for us of the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are only 2 references to him in the OT. One is here and the other is in Psalm 110:4. That Psalm is a Messianic Psalm written by David. It contains prophetic words concerning the Lord Jesus who will do the following:
Messiah would be a KING (110:1-3)
Messiah would be a PRIEST (110:4)
Messiah would be a RIGHTEOUS JUDGE (110:5-7)
The only other mention of Melchizedek, and the more familiar passages are in Hebrews 5,6 and 7. Hebrews 7 contains the most information and reveals to us that this somewhat obscure OT figure is a prototype of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 7:1–10 "For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, " "and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. " "He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever. " "See how great this man was to whom Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils! " "And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers, though these also are descended from Abraham. " "But this man who does not have his descent from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. " "It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. " "In the one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one of whom it is testified that he lives. " "One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, " "for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him."