Genesis 14:21 -23 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. 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, 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:
Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

When I read the above passage earlier this week, it surprised me. The Bible is full of surprises, by the way. No matter how often you read it, you can always find something new in its pages. I had never noticed that Abram turned down the gifts that the King of Sodom had offered him, after he rescued the king and Lot from the hands of Chedorlaomer (please don’t ask me how to pronounce that…I’m sure the way you say it is right).
Abram doesn’t take gifts from the King of Sodom because the King of Sodom was not living right – remember, he was the King of Sodom, not a good place – and Abram did not want that wicked King to receive any praise for what God had done in Abram’s life. Abram only saved the King because Lot was with him, and he loved Lot.
I saw several great things in this passage. First of all, I find it amazing that Abram would save Lot. Lot wasn’t doing right with his life or with his family. Abram certainly was doing right by his. Lot wouldn’t have been in that situation had he not been rubbing elbows with the people of Sodom. But, Abram didn’t get full of pride and say “Well, you created this problem, you deal with it.” No, he went to Lot’s aid, even to the point of risking his life for him. How many times have I wanted to just leave a person in the midst of their problems because I think to myself “Well, they created that mess, so let them deal with it.” Abram sets a different example here. We should love and help everyone, whether the problem is of their own making or not.
I also see that Abram was being careful to see that God received the praise for his life. He didn’t want a wicked king to steal God’s glory because he gave him some little reward for his trouble. I want to be sure that God receives the praise for everything good that happens in my life. It isn’t because I’m so smart, or because I have so much wisdom, or any other reason. It’s because of Jesus. He’s everything He says He is, and so much more. Try Him and see for yourself if you haven’t already.
Also, we see at the end of the story, that God is proud of Abram for his decision to turn down the riches of the world and take God’s riches instead. I make brownies often for my kids. They’re easy. They’re good. So, I make them. I also purchase Chips Ahoy! or Oreos sometimes. After supper, I sometimes offer them a choice: mom-made brownies, or store-made cookies? When they choose the brownies, I am most pleased. They picked what I had made! I feel so happy and useful when they do that. I think that’s how God viewed it too. He was so happy that Abram chose Him, over the world. He was most pleased. “After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” Gen. 15:1
Wow! That’s pretty good, isn’t it? I hope that I can love others no matter how they live, or how they treat me. I hope that I will always choose to give God first place in all that I do. I want to always deflect any praise I receive back up to the One who deserves it all. Because without Him, I would be nothing.

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