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 anything that is yours (referring to the king of Sodom, from a thread even to a shoelatchet, lest you should be able to say, I have made Abram rich”
Though the meaning of the phrase “from a thread even to a shoelatchet” is unclear, it is likely that Abram was using this expression to express that he would not take even the least of the possessions that were owned by the king of Sodom, a people that were exceeding wicked (as we shall see later in Genesis 19). Other Biblical scholars have speculated that the thread could refer to the lace that would be used to tie the hair or a head covering and the shoelatchet is used to tie shoes to the feet of a person, and if this is so, this phrase, ‘from a thread even to a shoelatchet’ would imply “from head to toe” .
Points to ponder:
Irrespective of what this phrase means, it is vital for us to recognize a couple of facts. First, we should not accept anything from wicked people, no matter how insignificant it is. Second, when we say no, we should not be partial in our rejection, but complete – as in from head to toe – from a thread even to a shoelatchet.
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: