Summary: To seek and follow God’s ways and principles is the behavior that God wants us to exhibit when responding to trials, temptations, challenges, impulses, struggles, disputes, and even competition.
Theme: LIVING IN INTEGRITY
Text: Genesis 14: 1-24
A. Greetings: Happy Father’s Day.
B. Ok, this morning we will continue our study series in the life of Abraham. Last Sunday we learned that God confirmed His promises to Abraham about the possession of the land of Canaan. God told Abraham once again that he would be the possessor of the land. In conformity to God’s revelation, Abraham lived in obedience to God’s words and consecrated his life to God in service and worship. And one more thing which is very wonderful about this man is: while in the land enjoying everything in it, he sought for a better place to settle down forever. He looked beyond what is now. Firm in his faith and hope in the promises of God, Abraham had the assurance that heaven would be at the end of his journey. May we have the same faith that our father Abraham had.
C. In our passage today we find another aspect inside Abraham’s life. He is portrayed here as a man of integrity. Integrity is a very important behavior that God wants all His children to exhibit all the time. What is integrity? It is defined as “the quality of possessing and adhering to high moral standards.” When a person is said to have integrity, we mean they have high moral standards. They operate in a way that causes them to seek the right way first.
But in biblical sense, integrity is “the quality of seeking and following unswervingly the standards and the ways of God.” To say it’s moral and right is not enough; it should be in accordance to God’s principles and standards. To seek and follow God’s ways and principles is the behavior that God wants us to exhibit when responding to trials, temptations, challenges, impulses, struggles, disputes, and even competition.
Our text deals three areas of Abraham’s life wherein he demonstrates the fact that he was a man of integrity. In all these areas of his life, we can find that Abraham steadfastly sought and followed God’s standards, that is, he operates in Godly ways.
I. IN HIS WARFARE
1. Evidently, Sodom had been a tributary to king Chedorlaomer for some 12 years. But after 12 years, they refused to pay their tribute money and revolted. Chedorlaomer, along with his confederates, invaded Canaan to deal with these rebellious people. This invasion resulted to the sacking of Sodom and the capturing of Lot.
When Abraham learned that Lot was in trouble, he went to war. I gather that Abraham was a man of peace. In the entire history of his life, this is the only time we see him to have engaged himself in an armed struggle. But he did go to battle because there was a need to. This just shows that Abraham was a man who had an attitude to willingly respond to the needs of others regardless of the sacrifices and dangers on his part.
2. Now, this incident is not giving as an encouragement or scriptural validation to engage with any physical or armed war against those we might consider enemies. In contrast, this reminds us that we are always at war against evil. Our struggle as people of God “is not with flesh and blood, but against evil principalities, and against the ruler of darkness.” Paul says that our battle is spiritual in nature. And we are always engaged in it, whether you realize it or not. Our real enemy is the devil. He is always seeking a tyrant ruler-ship in our lives.
3. We have few lessons here to learn:
a) Resist the devil. Satan would like to have us under his control. He wants to put us in bondage. He likes to corrupt and destroy our lives. Do not succumb yourself to anything he offers. Instead, yield your life totally to God.
b) Oppose the works of darkness. But Jesus says to all believers, “You are the light of the world. You are the salt of the world.” So we have the command of the Lord to oppose the works of satan in the lives of people: Light to darkness, salt to corruption. Being the Savior in us, we have the powerful message that brings spiritual healing and deliverance.
c) Strive to set the captives free. Abraham’s intention to go to war is to save Lot and the people captured by Chedorlaomer. This must be our desire as well. Let us, as Jude admonished us to do, snatch others from the clutch of the enemy. Let us strive and do our best to help people find and experience freedom from the bondage of sin and darkness.
4. This incident of Abraham’s life teaches us that integrity is living your life in opposition to evil. Light for darkness, good for evil, love for hate, generosity for greediness, honesty for lie, comfort for badmouthing, sincerity for unfaithfulness, and righteousness for sin. The person of integrity is someone who is living in freedom from all the works of darkness and someone who is helping others find deliverance and liberty.