LESSON 13 – Abram Rescues Lot – Genesis 14

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LESSON 13 – Abram Rescues Lot – Genesis 14

  1. Discussion
    • Genesis 14:1-9 is full of difficult names to pronounce. You may not want to try to read this section out loud so you could summarize the story for your children in this way: War broke out between the kings of the land and a group of kings attacked the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah. They conquered the cities and took the wealth of these cities and then took prisoners captive.
    • Read Gen. 14:11-16. What happens to Lot? Why does this happen to Lot? (Possible answers:  Lot is captured by the conquering army and his family along with all of his possessions is taken as well.  This happens because he is now living in Sodom. Notice that in the previous chapter he had merely pitched his tent near the wicked city of Sodom.)What is Abram’s reaction to the news about Lot? (vs. 14-15 – He takes 318 trained men and goes to rescue Lot. They divide up and attack at night. Abram “routs” the soldiers and recovers Lot, his family and all of his possessions.) Trace Abram’s route to free Lot on a map. How far did he have to travel to help his nephew and how long do you think it might have taken on foot or traveling by camel?
    • Read Gen. 14:17-24.  After defeating Kedorlaomer (the leader of the kings that attacked Sodom and Gomorrah) two different kings come out to greet him. Who are they? (One is the king of Sodom, named Bera (14:1). The other is Melchizedek, the king of Salem [the early name for the city of Jerusalem].) What do we know about these two kings? (The king of Sodom comes from a wicked city that rejects God (Gen. 13:14). Melchizedek on the other hand is a priest for the Most High God as well as a king.) What does Melchizedek say to Abram and what is Abram’s response? (Melchizedek blesses Abram and gives God glory for Abram’s success and he also brings bread and wine for Abram. Abram in turn gives one-tenth of the spoil [the things he captured from the enemy] to Melchizedek, the priest-king.) What does the King of Sodom say to Abram? (You keep the spoil and I’ll take all of the people you captured.) What does Abram say to the king? (Possible answers: He first declares his allegiance to God and tells the king who his God is: the Creator of all things. He then says that he had made a solemn promise to God not to take anything personally from the king.) Why does Abram not take the spoil? (He didn’t want the king to be able to claim that he had made Abram rich and take the credit for what God had done.)
  2. Application– There are four “firsts” listed in this passage:
    1. First mention of Jerusalem – the Holy City (Salem)
    2. First mention of a priest
    3. First mention of tithing (giving 10% of your goods to the Lord)
    4. First mention of communion (bread and wine – pictures the work of Jesus on the cross)
    • Some discussion points for older kids:  The identity of Melchizedek is a mystery and Biblical scholars have several theories on who he actually is.  First, he could be Shem, which is the Jewish tradition. Secondly, he was Jesus Christ (a Christophany – a pre-birth appearance of Jesus in the OT). Proponents of this theory cite Hebrews 7:1-4 for support. Lastly, he was simply the first king of what would later be known as Jerusalem.  The name Melchizedek means “King of Righteousness”.  Whether or not this was actually a pre-birth appearance of Jesus or not, we do know from Hebrews 5:6-10, 7:1-11 and Ps. 110:1-4 that he was a type of Christ.  The writer of Hebrews points out that Jesus is a special kind of priest, like Melchizedek and not the Levite priests.  He is both priest and king and since He is the perfect Son of God He will be these things forever. It is significant that Abram brought him a tenth of what he had, recognizing that this person was a mediator between God and man.  Also, the bread and wine that the king of Salem brought to Abram is a picture of the bread and wine Jesus gave to the disciples the night before He died. Pictures of Jesus Christ are found all throughout the Old Testament!
    • The main application of this story is found in Abram’s response to the two kings who come to great him after he rescues Lot.  Why doesn’t Abram want the king of Sodom to be able to claim that he made Abram rich? (Possible answers:  Because Abram wanted God to have the credit, or glory for that – it was part of His promise to Abram; the king of Sodom was from a wicked and unbelieving city and taking the spoil from him would make Abram a partner with him and what he stood for. Abram wanted his ally to be God. etc.) Why then does Abram treat the king of Salem differently? (Possible answers:  It is evident by his greeting to Abram in 14:18 that this king worships God and gives the glory for Abram’s success to God.  Why does Abram give Melchizedek a tenth of the spoil? (As a way to honor God for blessing him.  Abram recognizes the authority of Melchizedek as a priest [mediator] and sees that giving Melchizedek a tenth is a way to thank God for his success. He identifies himself with the true God rather than the false gods of the Canaanites, etc.) Alliances are “close associations of nations or other groups, formed to advance common interests or causes.” (Dictionary.com) The common interest between Melchizedek and Abram was the “God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth”. (vs.19) Abram rejected an alliance with Bera, the King of Sodom, because they had no common ground and were, in fact, adversaries.  Read II Cor. 6:14-18. How do these verses apply to our story? (Abram rejected friendship with Bera, who would cause him to be identified and/or corrupted by the wickedness of Sodom (like his nephew Lot). He chose to honor God and chose Melchizedek for his ally.) How do these verses apply to you? (We can learn from II Cor. 6 we, as believers, are the temple of God. Our bodies house the Spirit of God and Christ and Satan cannot live side-by-side. This passage teaches that we must choose to ally ourselves with those who trust in the same God as we do.)  Ask your children: Are your friends more like the king of Sodom, or the king of Salem? Commend them for right choices in friendships and warn them of the dangers of choosing to make close allies of unbelievers. Also, ask them to consider what kind of a friend they are. How are they being a good influence on those around them?
  3. Digging Deeper
    1. Lot was rescued from a terrible situation in this story. His choices had led him to living in Sodom – an exceedingly wicked city according to Gen. 12:13. From what mess would you like to be rescued? What things are keeping you from a life of joy and peace? How can you be “rescued” from your present circumstance? Explain your situation and give at least three Bible verses that can help you to triumph over it.
    2. Do a study on Melchizedek, the king of Salem. Who was this mysterious king-priest? Read Ps 110, Hebrews 5 and Hebrews 7 and make a conclusion. You can also check out commentaries as well.  Most importantly, what does this person teach you about Jesus Christ? How does understanding this impact you and your relationship with Christ?