Simply the Bible Blog

Daily Devotion and Podcast

Genesis 14:1-20 “Warrior and Worshiper”

“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.”

Genesis 14:14 (NLT)

If I mention the name Abraham, what comes to mind? You probably think of the man of faith whom God chose to bring forth the Messiah. Or maybe you think of the time God tested Abraham to offer up his son Isaac on the altar. But probably most of us don’t think of Abraham as being warrior and mighty man of valor. People are not born heroes. They become heroes when opposing forces draw out their courage. Likewise, Abraham (Abram) became a war hero because of adverse circumstances.

When four kings came from the east to make war against five kings in Canaan, Abram’s nephew Lot was captured, for he was living in Sodom. Abram was not looking for a fight. He had no ambitions to conquer the land of Canaan or to make a name for himself. But a member of Abram’s family was captured; Lot’s life was endangered. Abram was faced with a decision: rescue Lot or let him go. It would have been easy to justify the second choice. After all, Lot had gotten himself into this situation by his own selfishness. Moreover, if five kings and their armies could not defeat these four kings from the east, then what could Abram do? We don’t know how much Abram may have agonized over this decision. All we know is what he did. He took the 318 servants born in his household, and he went in pursuit of Lot. Abram evidently had a good reputation among his Canaanite neighbors, because three of them joined Abram in this fight against seemingly impossible odds (v. 24).

I cannot help but think of Jesus’ parable about the one lost sheep.

“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray.”

Matthew 18:12–13 (NKJV)

But this shepherd was a man of war. Abram gathered all his resources and mustered his courage to pursue these armies, and God gave him a great victory.

“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 14:16 (NLT)

This story humbles and inspires me. How far would I be willing to go to save one person? How far did Jesus go to rescue us? Answer: from the glory of heaven to the humiliation and agony of the cross. I pray that I would be so compelled by the love of Christ to do whatever it takes to save the one who has strayed away and has been taken captive by the enemy. We are not called to judge but to do all that we can to save.

“Heavenly Father, forgive us when we become so self-absorbed that we do not notice those who are lost and held captive by the devil. Grant to us faith, courage and grace to pursue them and bring them into your kingdom. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.”

Listen to the complete podcast

Photo by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash

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