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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“And it came to pass . . .”—Genesis 14:1 (NKJV)
Whenever you see the words, “And it came to pass,” in the Bible, you can be sure something significant is about to happen. That’s precisely what occurs here as the fourteenth chapter of Genesis opens.
Let me preface this by saying that the ancient world Abram lived in was very vulnerable and violent. Kingdoms were often forced to band together with other kingdoms in order to protect themselves from superior forces intent on invading, pillaging, and destroying them. This was especially true in the region of Sodom where Abram’s nephew, Lot, lived.
In this chapter, we learn the king of Sodom joins a confederacy of four other kings to oppose another coalition of kingdoms that dominates the region. However, Sodom’s confederacy is defeated in a decisive battle, and all its citizens are carried away captive, including Lot!
This might have been the end of Lot’s story, except for the fact that one of the prisoners escapes and brings word back to Abram that his nephew had been taken captive, along with the rest of his household. Undoubtedly, the rest of their lives (if they were allowed to live) would be spent in slavery.
It’s at this point in Abram’s story that we see a new side to the man: “Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit” Genesis 14:14 (NKJV).
Abram becomes nothing less than an action hero! He arms and leads 318 of his servants to pursue and battle against the most powerful fighting force in the region at that time. And guess what? He wins! “So he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people” Genesis 14:16 (NKJV).
Obviously, the Lord must have been with Abram and his men in order to score such a stunning victory. But we also can’t miss the fact that Abram decided to step out and act when it became clear what was happening. His beloved nephew needed rescuing, and Abram’s love revealed itself through heroic action.
Now, while we live in a much different time and aren’t called to the same type of action Abram was, we do see a principle in his example that carries over into our lives. Quite simply, love acts. The love that God pours out into our hearts for others (Romans 5:5) doesn’t just sit. It empowers us to move when a need arises.
Perhaps the action is in the form of a prayer, a personal visit, a gift, a gesture, a sacrificial service, etc. Whatever the act may be, our actions are heroic if they’re motivated by God’s love and what He wants in the moment. May we be open and responsive to the opportunities for God’s love to act through our lives.
DIG: What did Abram do for Lot and why did he do it?
DISCOVER: What principle do we take away from this account?
DO: Be open and responsive to opportunities to be active with God’s love today.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.