Abram returns from a victorious battle against four kings and their armies, and is met by the king of Sodom, in the valley of Shaveh (or the king’s valley). Abram had recovered both the wicked people of Sodom and its wealth, along with the people and possessions (goods) of all the other nations, that these four kings had conquered. The king of Sodom, asks Abram, to return his people and keep the possessions, but Abram chooses to not take anything that is of the king of Sodom.
On the surface, the offer of the king of Sodom may seem very legitimate and reasonable, but deeper analysis, reveals some serious repercussions of Abram’s decision, should he have accepted the king’s offer. For starters, Abram stays true to the vow he had made with the most high God, that he would not take anything from the king of Sodom. The reason that Abram gives for his decision, is that, the king of Sodom cannot claim to have made Abram rich (Genesis 14:22-23), which would take the glory and honor, that is rightfully due unto God, for it was God who had promised to Abram, that he will bless him and make his name great (Genesis 12:1-3).
Points to ponder:
From this account, we can learn that, what we purpose in our hearts, and promise to the Lord God, as a vow, we must fulfill, even if the lure of worldly gain may seem legitimate and reasonable. Additionally, it is not man, who makes our name great, but it is the Lord God, alone, who can bless us and make our name great. Let us not falter under the lures of wealth, but let us be willing to reject even a king’s offer, when it is contrary to the blessings that come from God, the King of kings. Seek not your reward from men, but seek it from God, for the worthy (not necessarily wealthy) reward comes from God alone.
Genesis 14:21-23 (KJV)
21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.
22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,
23 That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich: