Genesis Chapter 14

In the book of Genesis, we learn of Abram (Abraham) and his son Lot. They had left the land of Ur together and with their families, traveled to Egypt and then to the land of Canaan. After some contention over the land, they decided to separate from one another, so they would not fight. Lot went towards the land of Sodom, and Abram took the land in Canaan. This chapter begins:

1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations;
2 That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.
3 All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea.
4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
5 And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim,
6 And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto El-paran, which is by the wilderness.
7 And they returned, and came to En-mishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezon-tamar.
8 And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim;
9 With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five.
10 And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain.
11 And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.
12 And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

There was fighting among the kings in the land where Lot had chosen to make his home. The people of the land fled when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fell. The other kings took Lot and his family captive and stole all his belongings.

13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.
14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.
15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.
16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

Abram learned of Lot’s captivity from a man who had escaped. He took his servants to help him rescue Lot. Abram and his servants rescued Lot and all of his family and belongings.

17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s dale.
18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.
22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,
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:
24 Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.

Melchizedek and the other kings in the land went to meet Abram. Melchizedek was a high priest of God and he gave a blessing to Abram. According to the Joseph Smith Translation, Melchizedek also blessed bread and wine. Abram payed tithing to Melchizedek, who had been called of God to be over the Lord’s storehouse (see Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis 14). In Alma 13:15 we read, “And it was this same Melchizedek to whom Abraham paid tithes; yea, even our father Abraham paid tithes of one-tenth part of all he possessed.” It is interesting to learn how much of what we still do today as members of the Lord’s church, was done in ancient times. It must have been a great honor to receive a blessing from Melchizedek, who was a righteous king and servant of the Lord.

The king of Sodom offered Abram the belongings that he had brought back. Abram refused the belongings and said that he owed it to God. I believe that he did not want to be bound in any way to the king or to have to give the king credit for his status. Abram knew that the Lord gave him the only riches worth what he wanted. If he was to become wealthy, it would be through the blessings of the Lord and not because a king gave them to him.

I continue to learn through these verses, that Abraham was a great man and a great example to me of how to live my own life. There is righteousness in protecting your loved ones, as he did Lot. It is important to show our gratitude for the blessings of the Lord, by paying tithing and partaking of the sacrament. We owe our wealth, physically and spiritually, to the Lord and there is nothing on this earth that is more valuable then the treasures from God. I am very grateful to have Abram as an example of these things.

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I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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