Continuing with David Niednagel’s daily S.O.A.P in Genesis (study, observe, apply, pray)
Genesis 14:1-16 Covenant loyalty
14:1 About this time war broke out in the region … 8 Then the rebel kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela (also called Zoar) prepared for battle in the valley of the Dead Sea. 9 They fought against King Kedorlaomer of Elam, King Tidal of Goiim, King Amraphel of Babylonia, and King Arioch of Ellasar—four kings against five … 11 The victorious invaders then plundered Sodom and Gomorrah and headed for home, taking with them all the spoils of war and the food supplies. 12 They also captured Lot—Abram’s nephew who lived in Sodom—and carried off everything he owned. 13 But one of Lot’s men escaped and reported everything to Abram the Hebrew, who was living near the oak grove belonging to Mamre the Amorite. Mamre and his relatives, Eshcol and Aner, were Abram’s allies. 14 When Abram heard that his nephew Lot had been captured, he mobilized the 318 trained men who had been born into his household. Then he pursued Kedorlaomer’s army until he caught up with them at Dan. 15 There he divided his men and attacked during the night. Kedorlaomer’s army fled, but Abram chased them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 Abram recovered all the goods that had been taken, and hebrought back his nephew Lot with his possessions and all the women and other captives. NLT
Abram was wealthy, but no match at all for the powerful kings of the East. Yet with only 318 men he went after them, 140 miles to Dan where he attacked them at night, then another 100 miles North of Damascus where he finally defeated the last of them and recovered all the people and possessions taken in the battles. Why? What motivated him to such a foolhardy action? Loyalty. Covenants.
Even though Lot cared more about his own wealth than his Uncle Abram, Abram felt a family obligation to rescue Lot. Also, Mamre, Eshcol and Aner are called Abram’s “allies” – the word is actually “covenant”. Abram had made mutual defense covenants with his neighbors, so they went with him to pursue the powerful kings. Covenants were serious, and they were binding. We don’t have anything in our culture like that. We make contracts, but we get good lawyers to help us break them when we want out of the obligations.
But Yahweh made a covenant with Abram and his descendants to be their God, and He made a New Covenant with us, the church. He wants us to count on Him, and wants us to keep our loyalty to Him, and to “His Body”, the Church– the others who are also a part of the same covenant. Sadly, in our culture we just don’t have that mindset. We are independent and value our own freedom and comfort above obligations to Christ or His church.
LORD, Thank You for Your faithfulness to us! Even to the point of dying on the Cross to make this New Covenant. At the core, I am selfish and do not want to be obligated to others, but I see the blessings of You and others being loyal to me and I am convicted of my sin. As I was awake in the night You spoke to me about a particular commitment You want me to make, and I will do it. Let me demonstrate Your nature in the way I live out a life of loyalty to You and people around me. Amen