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Paul J. Bucknell
Step #3, Genesis 14:17-24, is the part of renewal that comes full circle. After God has blessed us, we use those resources for others, no matter if they seem impossible to help. When we see God take our few resources to do His great work, we are humbled, further blessed, strengthened in faith and looking for an opportunity to express our appreciation.
“Then after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tenth of all. 21 And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself.”
22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ 24 “I will take nothing except what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their share” (Genesis 14:17-24).
There were several parts that were left out to mention latter in this section of 14:17-24.
It was not just Abram and his men who went to fight. The scriptures were not trying to hide this point. Perhaps we should have picked it up earlier in verse 13 when it openly stated three indidivuals, Amorite neighbors to Abram, were his allies.
An ally means that one would fight with the other when fighting or defending from some attack. Obviously, in that day, it meant much more. Abram was not being attacked and was just trying to help out his relative. They still went together.
Note in verse 24 on how Abram refers to the others who went with him, Aner, Eshcol and Mamre. We should assume it was not just these three but the men of their families that went with him. Abram wanted these men to get their portion for helping him out. I bet early on that these guys did not really want to go fighting these professional fighters.
But still, clearly it was remarkable that Abram went. Even with a few other families, probably much smaller than his, would risk all. Abram believed God could help him win the battle just as He had been recently blessing Him with his sheep and other affairs. Abram made some mistakes in his life, but he certainly couldn’t be called a coward.