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Abraham And The King Of Sodom
In obedience to the LORD (see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM'), Abram, later renamed Abraham (see Abram and Sarai), left his homeland in Mesopotamia (see also Israel's Iraqi Roots) and journeyed to a new land, along with "Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son."
"12:4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. 12:5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls [see The First Souls and Where Is Your Soul?; listen also to our Sermon Where Do Souls Go?] that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came." (Genesis 12:4-5 KJV)
Later, when their flocks and herds became too large for Abram and Lot to remain together, they parted. Lot chose "the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah," while Abram and Sarai remained on the higher ground, geographically and morally, around Hebron (see also What Made Abraham Righteous?).
"13:8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife [see also Striving For Strife], I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. 13:9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
"The king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself"
Some time later, the kings of the southern Canaanite cities were at war. Among them was Sodom, where Lot lived. Lot was captured and taken away by the foreign kings who looted the conquered cities.
"14:1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations; 14:2 That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar. 14:3 All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea. 14:4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
When Abram was informed of Lot's capture, "he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen" and after pursuing the foreign army all the way to Hobah, in Syria, in a daring multi-directional night attack in unfamiliar territory, rescued Lot and brought him back.
"14:13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram. 14:14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. 14:15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. 14:16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people." (Genesis 14:13-16 KJV)
That victory was followed by one of the most curious events of Bible History - Abram's meeting with "Melchizedek king of Salem" (see Melchizedek: A Portrayal Of Christ). But notice who else was there, or very nearby, in a glaring contrast between an extremely righteous man, Abram, and an extremely immoral man, "the king of Sodom."
"14:17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale.
The king of Sodom sought the return of the people of his city that had been taken away with Lot, while offering to allow Abram to keep the goods from looted Sodom for himself. Abram refused to keep anyone or anything from Sodom, other than supplies that had been necessarily consumed during the long rescue journey.
"14:21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.
Fact Finder: (a) Did Abraham later witness the incineration of Sodom, including the people and goods that he rescued from Syria? (b) Who was "the LORD God" Who incinerated Sodom? (c) What is the actual meaning of "Sodomite" in the Holy Bible? Did the English rendering of the word originate from the name of a city named Sodom, or from a Hebrew word that means scorched? (d) Does the Word of God regard one form of sin to be any worse than any other? Or does God command all humans to repent of all sin?