Genesis 14:23 tells us the response of Abram to the king of Sodom, when he asked Abram to return his people, but keep the goods that Abram had gotten as the spoils of war, against the four kings who had conquered Sodom and other nations. Abram said “I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest you should be able say, I have made Abram rich:”
Though it is extremely possible that Abram would have used this phrase, “not even a thread” to literally mean that I would not take something as insignificant as a thread from the king of Sodom, other references to the word “thread” in the Bible, can teach us some lessons that are not quite so insignificant. The other instances in the Bible that refer to the word ‘thread’ are used in the context of identification, imprisonment and impressiveness. The firstborn of the twin children of Tamar (Genesis 38:28- 30) were identified using a scarlet thread. Rahab and her family was identified by the scarlet thread by which she let God’s spies escape (Joshua 2:18). Samson is described to have been imprisoned (bound) by ropes which he broke through as a frail thread (Judges 16:9,12). Finally, the lips of a women whose speech is comely is described as an impressive scarlet thread (Song of Solomon 4:3).
Abram would not accept even a thread from the king of Sodom, for doing so would have identified him as an ally of a wicked king. Abram would not accept even a thread from the king of Sodom, for doing so would have imprisoned him to be bound in gratitude for taking the goods from a wicked king. Abram would not accept even a thread from the king of Sodom, for doing so would have made him as someone who gave in to the luring and impressive offer of a wicked king.
Points to ponder:
Let us not take anything from someone who is wicked, if it makes us, to be, identified with them, imprisoned by them or be impressed by the offers they make; not even a thread, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Leviticus 19:19 forbids the adornment of one self, with garments made of two different threads. If we are clothed in Christ’s righteousness (Romans 13:14), we cannot then take anything from anyone who is wicked, not even a thread!
Genesis 14:23 (KJV)
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: