Genesis

Lesson 19 w/AnswersGenesis 14:1-24

Beginnings

We continue our study of Genesis in Chapter 14, where it is recounted that Abram must rescue Lot. In doing so, we are introduced to the King of Salem, the "priest of the God Most High". Our lesson indicates to us how deep Abram’s love was for his relative Lot and his family, and how honorable Abram was in his dealings with both neighbors and foreigners. Again, many Bible "firsts" are recorded in this chapter. The words "priest", "peace", and "tithe" all appear for the first time in the Bible. Additionally, this chapter is the first time that we encounter the term "Hebrew" to denote Abram’s race (Genesis 14:13).

Read Genesis 14:1-24, then answering the following:

  1. Not unlike today, back in Abram’s time, city-state powers would unite or ally themselves with other city-state powers in order to form a confederacy. We observe this behavior in the initial verses of Genesis 14. What precipitated these alliances, and the subsequent attacks on the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah and others? (see Gen. 14:1-7)
    1. ANSWER: After thirteen years of rule under King Kedorlaomer, they rebelled and sought to break away.
  2. When the day of battle came, how many kings were fighting on each side of the battle? (see Gen. 14:8-9)
    1. ANSWER: The five kings who were all a part of the rebellion fought the four kings led by King Kedorlaomer.
  3. After the four kings led by King Kedorlaomer defeated the five rebellious kings, what did they do? What does it say about why the four kings treated Lot and his family the way that they did? (see Gen. 14:10-12)
    1. ANSWER: The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food. Because he was living in Sodom, Lot, his family, and all his possessions, were carried away by the four kings. No longer content to be out in the pastures and the open country, Lot had taken up permanent residence in Sodom.
  4. What happened to the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah? (see Gen. 14:10)
    1. ANSWER: They fled to the hills. Later we will see that once Abram rescues everyone, the kings return to once again rule their cities.
  5. What was Abram’s response when he heard what had happened to Lot and his family? (see Gen. 14:14-16)
    1. ANSWER: He immediately gathered a strong group of fighting men from within his own family and pursued the captors of Lot, defeating all four kings and rescuing all of the captives, not just Lot.
  6. What happened when Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the other kings that were allied with him? (see Gen. 14:17-20)
    1. ANSWER: He was met by Melchizedek, King of Salem and priest of God Most High.
  7. In Genesis 14:20, we find the first reference to tithing found in the Bible. What does it mean when we "tithe" or give a tenth of everything to God? Why is this an important part of our relationship with God?
    1. ANSWER: Tithing demonstrates to God that we are acknowledging that all that we have comes from him. It is our way of honoring God for the blessings that he has given us, and it is another way of worshipping God. By tithing, or a giving a tenth to God before allocating money or time to anything else, it also indicates that we honor God by giving him our best and putting him first in our life above all else.
  8. Melchizedek, the high priest, is seen in the Old Testament as either a type of Christ, or perhaps actually as one of the many appearances of Christ in the Old Testament. What do the verses below indicate to us regarding the role of high priest, and regarding Christ?
    1. Hebrews 5:4-6, 10
      1. ANSWER: The High Priest must be called by God to that position. Jesus, the Christ, was called by God to be His High Priest, just as Melchizedek was.
    2. Hebrews 6:20
      1. ANSWER: Jesus has now gone before us in order to become the High Priest for us.
    3. Hebrews 7:1-28
      1. ANSWER: Jesus is the High Priest, not due to his lineage but because God ordained him as such. How much greater is he than all other priests before him! Being perfect in everyway, he made the perfect sacrifice. Therefore, the book of Hebrews says that "therefore he is able to save completely".
  9. Ultimately, the King of Sodom, who has been hiding in the hills, comes to Abram and indicates to Abram he can keep all of the king’s "stuff" or goods that he rescued, but the king wants to again rule his people. How does Abram respond? (see Gen. 14:22-24)
    1. ANSWER: Abram tells the king that he wants nothing, and he furthermore asserts that he has made a pledge to God that he would accept nothing from anyone. Again, Abram wanted to ensure that he honored God in all that he did; and he did not want to provide a reason for the king to ever say that he had made Abram rich. Abram recognized that all he had came from God.

As we ponder this story further, let’s consider if we would have behaved as honorably as Abram if we were placed in his position. Would we have risked others’ lives and our own to go and save a relative who had been living in an evil city? (Incredibly, as we will discover later in the story, Lot returns to Sodom after being rescued by Abram.) And finally, having rescued these relatives, would we have honored God by giving Him a tenth of all that we had captured? Would be able to say to the king, whose people and possessions that we had conquered, that we wanted nothing in return?

Abram was truly a remarkable man, and a man who loved God. Oh, that one day others may say that about us!

Thanks for studying with us.

In Christ,

Wes

[2010]

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