We are all challenged with the temptation to compromise on what we believe. How should we live in response to what we believe about God? Abram too faced such temptations when he was met in quick succession by two different kings (Genesis 14) following a war in Canaan which resulted in his nephew Lot and his family being taken captive (Genesis 14:12).
The background to the war between coalitions of four and five neighbouring kings and consequently Lot being taken captive is found in Genesis 12 and 13. Having received God’s promises of land, becoming a great nation and blessing (Genesis 12:1-3) Abram responds in obedience and travels to Canaan. Unfortunately, famine in Canaan necessitates Abram and his extended family moving to Egypt. There he and his nephew Lot amass a good deal of wealth before moving back to Canaan and separating to live in different parts of the land. Lot moved to Sodom before King Kedorlaomer and his allies defeated the King of Sodom and his allies, and took Lot an his family captive. Abram and his troops pursued the victorious kings, defeated them and rescued Lot and his family.
Abram was then met by two very different kings King Melchizedek and King of Sodom.
Abram’s response to both is instructive.
Abram insisted that from the King of Sodom Abram he would “accept nothing”. He would not compromise. But to King Melchizedek “Abram gave him a tenth of everything” (Genesis 14:20).
Why? And what are the implications for us today? When to compromise and when to stand firm?
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