Family ties hold tight.
Lot had made his choice and settled in Sodom. Abram owed him nothing really, since he had seen to his nephew’s needs and ensured his prosperity. Lot had acquired much property, and like the “big men” of his day, he had many goods.
In the medium term, though, Lot’s livelihood and prosperity were at stake. He was captured in battle and fell prey to an alliance of armies with the group of four winning over a combination of five.
The battle was fought in the Valley of Siddim where bitumen pits became traps for the fighters of Sodom and Gomorrah. It’s interesting to note another incident where good stuff can be destructive. Tar can be used well as a structural element in technological projects, but it can also be a killer, harmful to life.
News of Lot’s capture reaches Abram who is now a man of very great means. He has trained fighters and can afford to send “three hundred eighteen of them” to rescue Lot and his associates. Abram is the one who has really reversed the victory and rallied the defeat of Chedorlaomer’s super-team of four armies.
For his part in this victory, the King of Sodom wanted to repay Abram with all his property, asking only for his warriors. Blessed by Melchizedek of Salem, Priest of God, Abram offered a tenth of his possessions to God (through the priest, of course). He refused to accept the smallest gift from Sodom’s king, lest the latter would get the wrong idea that he had made Abram rich. Abram acknowledged God as the source of his blessing and he wanted to keep it that way.
O that we, like David, would pray with our material blessings, even as these increase,
“But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to make this freewill offering? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you”.1 Chronicles 29: 14).