Tomorrow at our worship service , I will preach the word of God in Genesis 14:21-24:
And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.” But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, that I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me. Let Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre take their share.”
THE ALL-SUFFICIENCY OF GOD’S COVENANT AND BLESSINGS ENABLES US TO SAY ‘NO’ TO THE WORLD.
Worldly people are God’s enemies. As James 4:4 teaches,
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
(See also 1 John 2:12-17.)
We must share and proclaim to them the gospel of God’s free gift of forgiveness and salvation in Christ. But if they remain unrepentant and unbelieving, we must maintain the antithesis the way Abraham did. We are to put our trust completely in the Lord’s covenant faithfulness and say “no” to the world, shunning its corruption and contamination. Blessed and secure in His fatherly care and kingly protection, we are to continue in the life of faith and discipleship. We are to live as God’s sanctified ones — separated unto the Lord and separated from the world.
“For Abram the harder battle begins, for there is a profound contrast between the two kings who come to meet him. Melchizedek, his name expressive of the realm of right and good (see Heb. 7:2), offers him, in token, a simple sufficiency from God, pronounces an unspecified blessing (dwelling on the Giver, not the gift), and accepts costly tribute. And this is meaningful only to faith. The king of Sodom, on the other hand, makes a handsome and businesslike offer; its sole disadvantage is perceptible, again, only to faith. To these rival benefactors Abram signifies his Yes and his No, refusing to compromise his call.” – Derek Kidner
“The king of Sodom, who had most to be grateful for, offered no word of thanks but brusquely demanded the return of his people. Abram protested that he had no intention of profiting Sodom’s misfortune.” – Gordon J. Wenham
“Abram, having failed in Genesis 13, comes through with flying colors in this battle of faith because he aligns himself with God, and he refuses to allow his heart to be compromised by the possibility of taking the riches that this world can offer.” – Ligon Duncan
“Melchizedek’s treatment of Abram contrasts vividly to the [king of Sodom’s] treatment of him. The latter ‘cursed’ Abram. The former ‘blessed’ Abram, and here we find, in one sense, the beginning of the actualization of God’s promise to Abram: ‘those who bless you I will bless.'” – Victor Hamilton