Summary: How can we make the most of our blessings? 1. Rally to help other people (vs. 14-16). 2. Recognize God’s greatness (vs. 17-20). 3. Repay God’s tithe (vs. 20).
Old Testament Encounters with Christ
Part 5: Make the Most of Your Blessings
Genesis 14:1-20 (reading vs. 14-20)
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Dec. 21, 2011
*The background for our Scripture is war between two groups of kingdoms: Four kings of the East against five kings of the plain, including Sodom. In the first war, Sodom and her allies were defeated by the four kings of the East. And vs. 4 tells us that they served for 12 years, but in the 13th year the five kings of the plain rebelled.
*John Phillips explained:
-“The five cities of the plain announced their intention of no longer paying tribute. Then came news of a great coalition of the kings of the east, soon followed by the news that a great army was on the march toward Sodom and her allies.
*The eastern coalition seems to have been very powerful. No doubt, the news of its approach caused quite a stir in Sodom, and the five kings of the plain joined together in an unholy alliance.
*It all seems so remarkably up-to-date. There was no thought of God, no repentance, no prayer, no spiritual awakening, just the formation of alliances and the outfitting of armies. . .
*Nation after nation went down (before the four kings of the east). Some of those nations were peopled by giants, but down they went.
-Those invaders were God’s scourge, the whip in His hand with which to chastise the filthy cities of the plain, in the hope that perhaps they would repent and thus be spared their ultimate doom. But Sodom and Gomorrah had no thought for repentance. Their only thought was to look to their alliance.” (1)
*So Sodom and her allies went to battle against the invading four kings from the east. And the Sodom alliance was utterly defeated. We read about this starting in vs. 10:
10. Now the Valley of Siddim was full of asphalt pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled; some fell there, and the remainder fled to the mountains.
11. Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way.
12. They also took Lot, Abram's brother's son who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
13. Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, for he dwelt (in the plain) of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner; & they were allies with Abram.
*With this background in mind, let’s read about Abram’s encounter with the king and priest named Melchizedek. We see this encounter in vs. 14-20. (By the way, His name sounds strange, but it simply means “My King is Right!” or “My King is Righteousness.”)
14. Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.
15. He divided his forces against them by night, and he and his servants attacked them and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus.
16. So he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people.
17. And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him.
18. Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.
19. And he blessed him and said: "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;
20. And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand." And he gave him a tithe of all.
*One of the most important things to see about Abram’s meeting with Melchizedek is that Abram was blessed. But so are we!
*Christians, we are blessed! -- The more we learn about God’s goodness, the more we can see that we have been blessed in amazing ways. God loves to bless his people! -- But how can we make the most of our blessings?
1. First, we should rally to help other people. -- We are blessed to be a blessing to other people.
*Last time we saw some amazing blessings that God promised to Abram. In Genesis 12:2-3, the Lord said:
2. “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.
3. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”