Skip to main content

Through the Whole Bible: Genesis 14

Through the Whole Bible for today takes us to Genesis 14 (Link) for a war. There's a sermon in my podcast history that addresses some of what happened here (LINK). I'll give you a recap: the story zooms out for a moment and gives the political happenings in the region.

In that time, the rulers of the cities around Sodom and Gomorrah had been paying tribute/taxes to the king of Elam. After twelve years of that, the taxpayers decided they were tired of it and quit. One does not, however, just quit paying taxes and get away with it. The king of Elam comes back to remind the others of the pecking order.

Lot, meanwhile, gets caught up in the middle of this. The text does not record that he fought, but he still gets taken as a prisoner by Chedorlaomer, King of Elam. (Yep. King Cheesy.) Abram hears and goes out to deliver his nephew from the king. And does so, successfully.

Here's a few takeaways from this chapter:

1. Those who do not carry a sword can still die on one. Or, in this case, be captured by the people with them. I understand a portion of pacifism, I see the value in nonviolent activism, but there comes a point at which the sword must be drawn. Lot did not fight for himself, apparently. So, Abram has to fight for him.

One might say that "God will fight for me" but realize that God uses people to accomplish His purposes many times. What people will He be calling on for you? If you expect to walk through life and never have to take sides or never participate in conflict, I think you'll be in trouble.

2. Pay your taxes. Don't pay more than you have to, but really, taxes alone are a pretty slight thing. Until those taxes are starving you, but that's another matter.

3. Here's the big thing I'm seeing today: fight to deliver your family. Abram goes out of his way, exerts maximum effort , to rescue Lot.

Not only does he rescue Lot, though. He also delivers all the rest of the people. Reading this story, I see God's grace in the rescue of everyone without a loss. It does not always work out that way: imagine if Lot had decided he preferred being the prisoner of King Cheesy? Maybe he wanted to leave Sodom and go to Elam. That's possible. It happens to many people these days: they are rescued from problems but don't want to leave those problems.

Still, though, Abram's actions would have saved some of the other people. While his main goal was Lot, he also provided freedom to the other captives. Rather than the dreaded "collateral damage" the battle provided "collateral repair."

Therefore, strive for what you think matters the most. You might be amazed at what you accomplish on the side.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Abraham Lincoln Quoted by Jesus! Mark 3

Mark records a curious event in his third chapter (link). If you look at Mark 3:25, you'll see that Jesus quotes the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. After all, one of the highlights of the Lincoln years is his famous speech regarding slavery in the United States where he used the phrase that "a house divided against itself cannot stand." This speech was given in 1858 when he accepted the nomination to run against Stephen A. Douglas for Senate, but is still remembered as the defining speech regarding slaveholding in the United States. I recall being taught in school how brilliant and groundbreaking the speech was, how Lincoln had used such wise words to convey his thought. Yet the idea was not original to Lincoln. Rather, it was embedded in Lincoln from his time reading the Bible. Now, I have read varying reports about Lincoln's personal religious beliefs: some place him as a nearly completely committed Christian while others have him somewh…

Book: The Gospel Call and True Conversion

A quick note: This book, The Gospel Call and True Conversion, is currently available on Kindle for $4.99. This is the second in a series of 3, and the first, The Gospel’s Power and Message, is available for $2.99.The Gospel Call and True Conversion. The title of this book alone sounds intimidating, and adding that it’s written by one of the heavyweights of American Reformed Christianity, Paul Washer, does not lessen the intimidation factor. Washer is known to be a straightforward preacher—for good or for ill.What did I find in The Gospel call and True Conversion? I found some things to like:1. Paul Washer is passionate for the truth. He wants to know the truth. He wants to proclaim the truth. He wants the truth heard. He wants you to know the truth. This is good. It is good to see someone not try to base theology on popularity or as a response to modern events, but to base it clearly on truth. 2. There is a strong emphasis on the reality that true conversion (from the title) will resu…