Genesis 14:1 "And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations;
2 That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.
3 All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea.
4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled."
BATTLE OF THE KINGS
Here in chapter 14 we find the first recorded war in the Bible. Nine nations were involved in
this war. It began when five kings, located in the Dead Sea area (also known as the vale of Siddim
and the Salt Sea), revolted against the King of Elam and his three allies. These five nations
had served Ched-or-Laomer, King of Elam, for twelve years and in the thirteenth year they
rebelled. The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled and fell into the slime pits in the vale of
Siddim. Sodom was wiped out during the battle and among those taken captive were Lot and his
family. The remaining kings fled to the mountain.
When Abram learned of Lot's abduction he immediately armed his servants and went after them.
Abram only had 318 servants but it was enough. He caught up with them just north of Damascus
and defeated them after a surprise attack. If God be for us who can be against us? We can do
anything if God is on our side!
When Abram returned from defeating Ched-or-Laomer, he was met by Melchizedek, the King of
Salem (or Jerusalem), who was also a priest of God. No one knows for sure who this King was.
Some think he could have been Shem. If this is so, he would have been the oldest living man
at the time. Shem died at the age of 600. Others believe he was Christ himself,
(a pre-Bethlehem Old Testament appearance of the Savior). I feel he was probably just the
first mentioned King of Jerusalem. Melchizedek literally means "King of Righteousness", and
Salem is thought to be an early name for Jerusalem. Melchizedek is mentioned again in
Psalm 110 and in Hebrews 5:6-10 and 7:1-22. Hebrews 7 says the name Melchizedek means "King of Peace".
Melchizedek brought Abram bread and wine and blessed him. After the blessing, Abram gave
him tithes of all he had. Some believe the practice of tithing was only to be done by the
nation of Israel under the Law, but Abram tithed 400 years before the law was given.
And when we come to the New Testament, we are told that not just a tenth, but everything the
Christian has belongs to God. (I Cor.6:19,20)
The King of Sodom also came to meet Abram and, out of gratitude, now urged him to keep
all the material goods that had been recovered and to give him only the people. Abram told
the King that he had promised God he would not accept "a thread even to a shoe latchet" from
the king, lest people would say that this king had "made Abram rich." Abram wanted people
to know that it was God who had made him what he was and that he did not need riches from
worldly kings. This was a very big temptation that a lot of Christians today would have given
in to, I'm afraid. Satan is always ready to tempt us with the riches of the world. Usually
the more a person has the more he wants but Abram had God and He had supplied all his needs.
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD,
WHAT MORE COULD I WANT?
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
1) Who do you think Melchizedek was?
2) When God prospers us, do you believe we should give a tenth back to Him?
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