In the Old Testament, it doesn’t seem to be quiet for five minutes. In this chapter Lot gets tangled up in an international war. At the time he may have found it impossible to figure out how being taken captive could possibly have been God’s will, however, on two counts it was probably a good thing. First of all, this upheaval would more than likely have got him thinking. When chaos happens, it is a lot easier to see what is important in life – those things that we seem to care about the most; money, possessions, comfort, don’t seem quite so important as safety, eternal and otherwise. Perhaps this got Lot thinking. Maybe – but it’s likely that it was designed to. The other good thing to come out of the whole affair was that Lot was rescued by Abram and therefore he was back in his company, with the opportunity that something righteous might rub off on him! It was also a way of removing him from the damaging society of Sodom.
Abram didn’t pick sides in the conflict – he was not involved until he needed to be. It’s important that political ideals don’t affect our faith – rather it is to be the other way round. We are never required to compromise what we know to be true. If it looks like being the case, we are doing the wrong thing. Thousands of believers have led complete and useful lives without compromising what they know to be true. The perfect example of this is Daniel. There is nothing he did that compromised his faith or knowledge of God. He worked within the bounds of his faith to do what was expected of him. Forced to make the choice between earthly orders or divine, he chose God every time.
Melchizadek, King of Salem is a type of Jesus the Messiah. Here we have someone offering Abram bread and wine (symbolic of the body and blood of Messiah) and a blessing. This was more attractive to Abram than the worldly goods that the other king, Bera, offered to him. In return Abram gave him a tithe of everything. Abram didn’t accept his share of the spoils because he didn’t want it compromising his walk with God and his testimony. He didn’t want to have his wealth credited to this event, but rather credited to God. He knew, possibly from his sojourn in Egypt, that it is easy to be led astray by material possessions. He didn’t stop the others from accepting their shares, however. What was important to Abram was his relationship with God. The others didn’t have that, and so there was no real reason to pass up on their share of the spoils.
So the important thing here is – don’t compromise. If you’ve got something to live for, live for it. Don’t take your eyes of it, don’t devalue it, and don’t pass up on its rewards.