Scripture Reading: Genesis 14:17-24
“The king of Sodom said to Abram, ‘Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.'” (Genesis 14:21)
We have seen how Abram defeated the army of the confederation of four kings who had captured Lot and all his possessions. Afterwards, two kings met with Abram. One was Bera, king of Sodom; the other was Melchizedek, king of Salem. Each of the kings made an offer to Abram.
Melchizedek, the king of Salem, offered him bread and wine, and a blessing — “Then Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram” (vs. 18,19a). Abram already had all the spoils of war. He must have had plenty of bread and wine available to him. Melchizedek was a pre-incarnate manifestation of Jesus Christ. When Christ became incarnate many centuries after these events in Genesis, He too offered bread and wine. He still does to this day when His people celebrate Communion.
Melchizedek also blessed God Most High — “And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand” (v. 20). Melchizedek gave God credit for the victory Abram had over the confederation of kings.
Bera, the king of Sodom, offered Abram riches — “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself” (v. 21). What is interesting is that the king of Sodom was in no position to offer Abram these things. They did not belong to him for he was a defeated king.
Abram accepted Melchizedek’s offer and honored God. Abram gave a tenth to Melchizedek. He gave Melchizedek the first and the best of the spoils of war. Abram was the first person in Scripture to tithe. Tithing has been a practice Christians have honored since that time. The tithe is an expression of our love and gratitude to God for all He has done for us.
Abram refused the offer of the king of Sodom because he wanted God to get all the glory — “I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich'” (vs. 23,24).
Daily we must make choices of which offer to take — the empty promises of the world or the riches of God’s grace.
Lord Jesus, enable me to resist the ways of the world. Thank You for the grace that You have lavished upon me. Thank You for making the ultimate sacrifice for me and for the sacramental reminder of Your work when we take Communion.
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