Summary: The Loyalty of Abram
1. One of the all-time greats in baseball was Babe Ruth. His bat had the power of a cannon, and his record of 714 home runs remained unbroken until Hank Aaron came along.
But in time, age took its toll, and his popularity began to wane. Finally the Yankees traded him to the Braves.
In one of his last games in Cincinnati, Babe Ruth began to falter. He struck out and made several misplays that allowed the Reds to score five runs in one inning.
As the Babe walked toward the dugout, chin down and dejected, there rose from the stands an enormous storm of boos, and some fans actually shook their fists.
Then a wonderful thing happened. A little boy jumped over the railing, and with tears streaming down his cheeks he ran out to him. He flung his arms around the Babe’s legs and held on tightly.
Babe Ruth scooped him up, hugged him, and set him down again. Patting him gently on the head, he took his hand and the two of them walked off the field together.
2. That little boy reminded me of Abraham - Lot had struck out, but Abram like God, had never given up on Lot.
3. The Loyalty of Abram.
Trans: Gen. 14
I. FIRST, WE HAVE HIS LOYALTY TO LOT.
A. The Confederations. 14:1-2
1. Four Eastern kings. 1
And it came to pass in the days of Am-ra-phel king of Shinar [this is part of modern Iraq]; Ar-i-och king of Ellasar [an area of modern Turkey or in nothern Syria]; Ched-or-la-o-mer king of Elam [part of modern Iran]; and Ti-dal king of nations [modern-day Turkety] - These locations are familiar with modern ears, as we have invaded Iraq and are familiar with Iran.
2. Five kings of the Plain. 2
that they made war with Be-ra king of Sodom; Bir-sha king of Gomorrah; Shi-nab king of Admah; Shem-e-ber king of Zeboiim; and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar)
B. The Conflict. 3-9
1. The Source of the conflict - the 5 kings of the plain, who had paid taxes to Ched-or-laomer, rebelled and refused to pay any more taxes. This brought about war.
2. The Stragedy - Instead of attacking the 5 cities directly; they made a sweep to the Southwest, then northeast to the Western side of the Dead Sea, and then the troops swarmed down upon them. This removed the possibility of aid from Sodoms allies and tightened the noose around their necks. [Leupold]
C. The Conquest. 10
Now the Valley of Siddim was full of asphalt [tar] pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled; some fell there, and the remainder fled to the mountains
D. The Confiscation and Capture. 11-12
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 - Lot, like the prodical son, lost everything.
Lot, is experiencing physical bondage, to confront him, with his real problem - spiritual bondage.
Principle: When a believer walks with the world, he sooner or later experiences spiritual bondage. But often the Lord has to bring about a physical problem to get us to see our spiritual one.
"Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin." John 8:34
But it’s easy to live in denial - to live in sin and think everything is going our way. So sooner or later God gets our attention.
In 1989, Pete Rose, baseball’s all-time hit leader, was banished from baseball by Major League Commissioner. [Bart Giamatti].
The commissioner had hired John M. Dowd to investigate Rose’s gambling. After Dowd gathered evidence against Rose and before Rose was banished from baseball, The Commissioner told Dowd to offer Rose a generous deal: (1) admit to gambling on baseball, (2)accept temporary dismissal from the game, (3) undergo a rigorously supervised rehabilitation and eventually be reinstated.
And that wasn’t all: Dowd said he got the U.S. attorney in Cincinnati to agree not to prosecute Rose on tax evasion charges if he accepted baseball’s offer and paid his taxes with interest and penalties.
Remarkably, Rose rejected the offer, sued the commissioner and lost. He was later convicted of tax evasion and served five months in prison.
In his book, "My Prison Without Bars", Rose says "I felt banishment was too severe a sentence. Right or wrong, the punishment didn’t fit the crime—so I denied the crime."
When the magazine "Sports Illustrated" asked Rose why he wagered, he replied, "I didn’t think I’d get caught."
He also denied he even had a gambling problem, though during one, three-week period, Rose wrote 11 checks for $8,000 to a bookmaker in New York. But he never felt he had a gambling problem.