101-114-Genesis Part 2 Chapter 14
From Chaldea and Persia came four Kings and made war with the five Kings in the valley of Siddim near Sodom and Gomorrah and defeated them. They collected their spoils from Sodom and Gomorrah including Lot, his family and all his possessions. This the land Lot chose from his uncle Abram because it was pleasing to his eye. Because Lot coveted his wealth and could not bear any of it falling by misunderstanding to Abram left the safety of Abram’s camp and moved into the wicked city of Sodom. Even though Lot was distressed by the unrighteous living of the people in Sodom he remained there. The people of the Siddim Valley were ripe for conquest as they were consumed by their lust and were slothful in their manner. Yet it was here that Lot chose to live and many a good man has faced unbearable trials because of the wickedness of his neighbors. In all good wisdom the man who chooses to live a righteous life should separate himself from the unrighteous. When the Lord God brings His judgment against the wicked the affliction placed upon them will also be shared by the righteous that live with them. Paul in 2 Corinthians warns us of this. “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you.”
Lot has only himself to thank for his plight in Sodom, as he chose to leave the safety of God’s protection and live among the unrighteous in Siddim Valley. If we decide to follow our lust and not chose to follow God’s plan for us then we cannot expect the result to end in our comfort.
Abram heard of the capture of Lot and he and his servants went out and defeated Lot’s captures. Abram gathered up Lot, his family, his possessions, and the people with him and returned Lot to his home.
Melchizedek was said to be the King of Salem and was a priest of the Most High. We find in Midrash Rabbah the first born was responsible for the sacrificial duties and therefore considered the Priest. “Our Rabbis have said: Why did the Holy One, blessed be He, order the firstborn Israelites to be redeemed by means of the Levites? Because originally, before the tribe of Levi arose, the firstborn performed the sacrificial service.” Though it is not given in the bible Melchizedek can be traced back to Adam. “Go back to the beginning of the creation of the world. Adam was the world’s firstborn. When Adam died he transmitted his duties to Seth. Seth transmitted them to Methusaleh. When Methusaleh died he transmitted them to Noah. Noah arose and offered a sacrifice; as it says: And he took of every clean beast… and offered burnt-offerings on the altar (Gen. 8:20). Noah died and transmitted them to Shem. But was Shem a firstborn? Japheth, surely, was the firstborn; as it says: Shem… the brother of Japheth the elder (Gen. 10:21) Why then did he hand them on to Shem? Because Noah foresaw that the line of the patriarchs would issue from him.” Further reading brings the line from Shem to Melchizedek. Mas. Nedarim 32b – R. Zechariah said on R. Ishmael’s authority: “The Holy One, blessed be He, intended to bring forth the priesthood from Shem”
Melchizedek as the King of Salem is the place that Jerusalem is built on in later times. Hebrews 7:3-4 also makes reference to Melchizedek. “Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually. Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the choicest spoils.”
Abram gave a tenth of the spoils received in his conquest out of gratitude to Melchizedek. Jesus who sacrificed Himself for us and now is our High Priest, who sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding in Prayer for us, also desires a great amount of our thankfulness. Considering that Jesus gave us His all He is worthy of our all.
The King of Sodom out of gratitude for the help of Abram in the recovery of his people told Abram to take the spoils but return the people. Abram refused all the spoils and took that which compensated his loss. Abram continued his faith in the Lord God that He would through His provision provide for the needs of Abram.