Hello fam –
How are you doing? How was your weekend? Gist me in the comment. I hope all went well. So…bible talks.
I came across an intriguing thought….again! Just like in You Have the Green Light, this thought is also inspired by Father Abraham.
Here’s a brief from Genesis 12.
Abraham left his family, hometown, and birthplace taking his nephew, Lot with him. But they later separated. Some politics went on in the Canaan territory ending up in Lot, his family, and his possession being taken by four Kings who attacked Sodom and Gomorrah.
Abraham was informed of his nephew’s situation. Feeling compassionate, Abram staged an overnight rescue mission. It was successful. He rescued Lot and everything that was taken. Abraham also took the spoils and prisoners of war along with him. The prisoners of war were from the city of Sodom. Genesis 14:1-16 chronicles the showdown if you are interested.
Then King/High Priest Melchizedek and the King of Sodom enter the scene. Their discussion is the center of my intrigue. Both Kings go out to commend Abram for his success.
Abram talks with Melchizedek. Its seems to be a friendly, fulfilled…conversation. We read,
Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, – “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything – Gen 14:20
Following Abram’s discussion with King Melchizedek is an interjection from the King of Sodom. We read:
The King of Sodom said to Abram, “Keep the loot, but give me back all my people” – Gen 14:21
I solemnly swear before the Lord, the Most High God, Maker of heaven and earth, that I will not keep anything of yours, not even a thread or a sandal strap. Then you can never say, ‘I am the one who made Abram rich.’ I will take nothing for myself. I will accept only what my men have used – Gen 14:22-24
Woo woo woo…!!! Wait a minute.
What happened to the sweet and hospitable Abram?
Indeed, his response to the King of Sodom seems to echo hate, anger and resentment. But seeing that there is no prior history between both men, we can’t really discern what’s happening here. That’s why I found Abram’s response intriguing.
So why would Abram act kindly toward King of Salem, Melchizedek, and not extend the same spirit of kindness toward the King of Sodom? After all, Abram was a hospitable man known for opening his tent-home on all four sides.
Obviously, his behavior toward the King of Sodom is not one of character. So what was the problem?
In a previous article – The Main Attraction – I shared how we can make people the main attraction. Though many of us may want to honestly learn to love people more, others may prefer to find a way to use people more. So, in this post, there is a subtlety in Abram’s conversation with both kings that may be helpful in discerning our connections.
Here it is –
Melchizedek came bearing simple gifts of bread and wine. The simplicity of these gifts confer the purity and clarity of his intentions to Abram. The bread (flour and yeast) speaks of the good that will come from both men connecting and working together (vs 18).
The wine speaks of sweetness, longevity, and sanctification of this newly formed connection. Receiving aid should look like this. It should result in connection, productivity, sweetness to life, and longevity of friendship.
In order words, Melchizedek initiated the connection with simple motives – friendship.
The King of Sodom was not out to give but to get. The first thing he asked for was what belonged to him. He wanted first, to restore his position. He bypassed relationship, connection, and friendship and sought bounty.
After all, he didn’t engage Abram in conversation or show some gratitude. And this, my dear friend, is a clue.
What people gift you or leave with you as a gift can become a strong influence. It has a spiritual connection. It has a voice. Depending on WHO gifts or leaves something with you, that gift can become a positive influence or a leverage.
The success of Abram’s rescue mission meant he could keep the spoils of war. All of it, including the cattle, sheep, and people – belonged to him. But, if doing so meant he would remain in a minimal spiritual connection to the King of Sodom whom (i think he discerned might try to use him later) – he would rather not keep it. Even if the spoil was plenty.
Abram simply chose relationship over spoils. And the gifts and manner of giving of the gifts of both kings clearly spoke volumes to Abram to warrant two strong but opposite gestures and responses from the patriach.
As we develop our destinies, we will meet a lot of people because it takes a lot of people to get us where we need to be to do what we need to do
As you meet them, many will compete for your attention even as you flourish. Many will bring you gifts or leave gifts with you. Let the gifts they bring to you or the gifts they leave with you speak volumes of the giver.
Better yet, this Christmas season, let the gifts you give speak volumes of who you are and what you are.
About 2000 years ago, God gave a gift. That gift spoke volumes. Still does today. And He is the reason for the season.
And so this season and in other seasons of your life –
May the gifts you give speak volumes and may you hear clearly what the gifts others give you are saying no matter how “cheap” it may appear to be
One Love, One Spirit