The daring rescue of Lot

In Genesis 14:1-16 we read an account of Lot being taken captive and rescued by Abram.  Its only 16 verses, but in these verses is a lot of information and confusing names, I just want to take a few minutes and break it down a little bit.

Four rebellious kings went to war with Chedorlaomer king of Elam, the king they served for 12 years, in year 13 they rebelled.  The rebellious kings were:

  • Bera king of Sodom
  • Birsha king of Gomorrah
  • Shinab king of Admah
  • Shemeber king of Zeboiim
  • the king of Bela

The kings loyal to Chedorlaomer were:

  • Amraphel king of Shinar
  • Arioch king of Ellasar
  • Tidal king of Goiim

This group, 5 kings vs 4 , fought in the Valley of Siddim.  When we talk about kings fighting a war, remember that it wasn’t just 9 men going at in a royal rumble, but their armies battled each other.  Thousands of men were on that battle field. King Chedorlaomer and his combined armies won the battle and sent the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah running back through the Valley of Siddim.  King Chedorlaomer’s armies gave chase and took all of the Sodom and Gomorrah’s possessions and provisions along the way, including capturing a man named Lot and his family and possessions.

Abram heard about his nephew’s capture from an escapee.  Abram didn’t take the news lightly.  He led 318 of his family to Dan, where he divided his small force and attacked by night.  Abram and 318 men defeated 4 armies, not only did they win, but they chased them away!  With God’s help, Abram was able to rescue Lot, his family, and his possessions from a far superior foe.

God can see in the dark!

All throughout the Bible, people have tried to hide their sins from God.  From the very beginning of creation, Adam and Eve tried to hide that they had eaten from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:8).  Then we see their son, Cain, killing his brother and sidestepping God’s questions (Genesis 4:9).  David, the man after God’s own heart, tried to cover his sin by having the husband of the woman he committed adultery with killed (2 Samuel 11:14-17)!  God saw through all of these people and their lies, and they all received different punishments. From hard work and painful childbirth, to wandering the earth, to the death of an innocent.

As if these weren’t bad enough, there are two dynamic duos in the Bible that lost their lives as a result of their attempted deceits.  First up, Nadab and Abihu.  They were sons of Aaron, the brother of Moses and High Priest.  They offered an offering of fire that God did not approve.  They were then stuck dead with fire for it (Leviticus 10:2).

Next up, Ananias and Sapphira.  They were members of the early Church.  They sold a field they owned and gave part of their profits to the Church.  This would have been a great thing, if only they hadn’t lied about it!  They told the apostles that they gave 100% of the profit to the Lord, but they held back a portion for themselves.  When questioned by Peter, Ananias was struck dead on the spot.  When Sapphira told the same lie, she too was struck dead (Acts 5:1-11).

This message isn’t very uplifting or comforting, but this message is very important: God can see in the dark!  Hiding our sins from the world, from our loved ones, from our brothers and sisters in Christ, from those who look up to us as an example does not work on God!  He knows what’s in our hearts (Psalm 44:20-21, Luke 16:15, Acts 15:8)!

While God does indeed see everything we do in the dark, John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Now that is comforting!