Genesis 14 contains a rather obscure passage on Melchizedek — someone we wouldn’t even know if it weren’t for Paul’s reference in Hebrews. Unfortunately, this focus on Melchizedek means we miss other important lessons from that chapter.
The setup is simple: Abram’s family becomes involved in a battle between kings, and Abram’s nephew Lot becomes a prisoner during the battle. The lesson comes from Abram and his response.
When Abram heard that his nephew Lot had been captured, he mobilized the 318 trained men who had been born into his household. Then he pursued Kedorlaomer’s army until he caught up with them at Dan. There he divided his men and attacked during the night. Kedorlaomer’s army fled, but Abram chased them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. Abram recovered all the goods that had been taken, and he brought back his nephew Lot with his possessions and all the women and other captives. (Genesis 14 NLT)
1. Get in the Game!
Notice Abram does not pout, cry, or look for someone to bail him out. Today it’s popular to blame everyone else, or wait for government or someone else to swoop in and (maybe) save the day. Whether it’s your own personal defense or the defense of your family, it’s not something to leave to someone else.
2. Be Prepared
If you’ve accomplished step one, congratulations, you’re way ahead of 90% or so of the population who sits around waiting for someone else to do their job.
You may have the desire to get in the game, but lacking preparations, you’ll be slaughtered like a pig. Sorry, that’s the way it is: combat has a winner and loser; the winner gets to live, and the loser … well … sometimes not so much.
Step two: get ready. This means Bible study, mental toughness, and a never-quit, never-surrender attitude.
3. Keep your Stuff, the Enemy Wants The Souls
The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give back my people who were captured. But you may keep for yourself all the goods you have recovered.” (Genesis 14 NLT)
Want an easy life? Trade stuff for souls. Since the enemy wants the souls, he’ll gladly give you stuff in exchange. It’s the disease of lacking boldness to do the right thing, preferring the easy life instead. Unfortunately this disease runs through the church, as Walter Martin explains.
We’re suffering from an endemic disease. This disease in the Christian world is known by its Latin name, non-rock-a-boatus. What it really means is, “Whatever you do, don’t rock the boat.” The cure for this disease is a baptism of boldness.
… You may be thinking, “You seem pretty uptight about this, Dr. Martin.” And I am, because we need to get rid of this non-rock-a-boatus mentality that is so prevalent in this country. …
Do you know there are Christians running around today waiting for a convenient moment to “preach the word” that never comes? And the reason it never comes is because God doesn’t care about convenience; God cares about obedience.
Non-rock-a-boatus Must Stop
Abram had knowledge of battle tactics, and thus able to deploy his resources against the enemy in the most advantageous way. You won’t obtain that knowledge sitting around eating Bon-Bons. It’s work.
Get in the game. Be prepared. Rock the boat.
… because it’s 2:59 AM