TODAY'S FOCUS: Genesis 14:14-16
When Abram heard that his relative had been captured, he took all of the loyal men born in his household, three hundred eighteen, and went after them as far as Dan. During the night, he and his servants divided themselves up against them, attacked, and chased them to Hobah, north of Damascus. He brought back all of the looted property, together with his relative Lot and Lot’s property, wives, and people.
(Common English Bible)
Abram only goes to war once.
After Abram and Lot part ways, Lot makes his home in Sodom and finds himself caught in the midst of combat. When nine countries choose sides and battle one another for power and land, Lot and all his family and goods are taken during the ensuing clash. To recover all that is lost, Abram goes to war.
Abram is not a military leader. To the contrary, he is peacefully traveling and living in his tents with his family, worshipping God and making a happy life. His people have no combat training, yet Lot is important enough that Abram takes 318 men trained only in protecting family and flocks, and he reclaims his kin. Abram’s call to worship the One True God, his willingness to obey, his loyalty to his family (even when they have left him and taken all the good land for themselves), all bring us to this moment when Abram works to restore God’s people.
Abram is just as affected by his world as we are by ours today. Abram’s willingness to be set apart by God and allow God to lead him in all he needs to battle is just as significant. Our battles may not be against the kings of nations, but they are just as difficult.
In her book The Patriarchs, Beth Moore writes:
“Shared enemies produce peculiar allies. We see that principle at work today. I’m not one to feel picked on and conspired against as a believer in America, but even I can’t help but think that the entertainment industry often allies with political agendas to make Christians look like idiots. In this nation’s battle for what is nobly tagged as “tolerance,” Christians sometimes to be the only entity not tolerated. The only reason I don’t lose heart… is because I know who has already won this war. Christ’s kingdom will come and “the government will be on his shoulders” (Isa. 9:6).”
When forces such as those found in Hollywood join with forces such as those found in government, we are beat down and our children are taken hostage. As Christians, though, we are set apart and called by God to leave behind that life, worship God alone, settle into a strong peaceful living, fight when necessary, and call upon God for the strength to do it all well.
Holy God, keep me strong and lead me so that I may be a courageous and faithful leader of others in your name. Amen.
More to think about: