GENESIS 14:1-24

KEY VERSE 14:19,20


1. a)  Who was Kedorlaomer and what was his position in the political structure of the region?

He was a strong king and the leader of a four king alliance.

b)  Where was his kingdom?

His kingdom was in Elam where Iraq is today.

c)  Who were his allies?

Amraphel king of Shinar; Arioch king of Ellasar; Tidal king of Goiim.

d)  Why did he go to war?

He went to war to put down a rebellion, according to verses 3-4.  He went to war agains:  Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim and the king of Bela.

This shows that the times Abram lived in were dangerous and violent.  Perhaps this is why God gave him the promise in 12:3.  

We also live in a dangerous world full of violence.  We also must claim God's promise that he is with us and will watch over us.

2. a)  How extensive was Kedorlaomer's campaign as described in verses 5-7?

Very extensive.  Notice these words that describe it:  "hill country... as far .... near the desert ... turned back and went to ... conquered the whole territory..."

3. a)  Who were the kings allied with Bera king of Sodom?

Birsha king of Gomorrah; Shinab king of Zeboiim; and the king of Bela, that is Zoar.

b)  Where did the big battle between 4 kings and 5 kings take place?

In the valley of Siddim.

c)  Who won?

King Kedorlaomer and his men "the four kings."

d)  What was the result to the defeated cities?

The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some of the men fell into tar pits, all goods were seized, Lot and his possessions were carried off.  

Lot tried to stay neutral, but he couldn't.  This was the result of Lot's decision.  

He pitched his tents near Sodom.  See 13:12.  Now he was living in Sodom.  See 14:12.  He lost God's hand of grace and protection.  Lot had lost everything now.  His earlier decision was bearing bad fruit.

**  ABRAM'S WAR (13-16)

4. a)  How did Abram get involved in this war?

One who had escaped came and reported this to Abram the Hebrew.

b)  Why do you think he went to rescue Lot?

He had loved and a shepherd heart for Lot.

c)  What does this teach about him?

Abram never gave up on Lot even though Lot had left him.  Abram was beginning to have God's love for the wandering and lost.

d)  What can we learn from him?

To have a shepherd heart.

Abram's love is unconditional.  Perfect love drives out all fear.  He didn't have fear about going to get him because he loved him.  He was ready to make war even to save him.

5. a)  Look at a map and try to find the extent of this war.  Who were Abram's allies?

Eschol, Aner, Mamre.  He also had 318 trained men born in his household.

b)  Describe Abram's military campaign.  What does this reveal about Abram?

He went in pursuit of them as far as Dan.  During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them pursuing them as far as Hobar, north of Damascus.

c)  What does this reveal about Abram?

He is very tactful and courageous.  He could be a great military leader.

6. a)  What was the outcome of the war?

Abram won a stunning victory over the strongest king who had ruled for many years.  It was a rout.  See verses 15 and 16.

God is with us when we fight his battles to save the lost.  See Joshua 23:10.

b)  How might Abram's involvement in this conflict have changed his relationship with the Canaanites?

They could either see him as a threat to their security or they may want to make him a leader.

c)  What temptation might his great victory present to him?

He might think that this is the way he will become a great nation and have all the land.

**  ABRAM MEETS 2 KINGS (17-24)

7. a)  Who were the two kings that came to meet Abram after he returned from defeating Kedorlaomer?

The king of Sodom and the king of Salem, Melchizedek.

b)  How were they different?

One was wicked, the king of Sodom.  See Genesis 13:10,13.  The other was godly, Melchizedek.

c)  In what respect do they represent the two alternative life directions before Abram?

One represents the life of sin, selfishness, greed, Satan.  This is the way of death.

The other represents the godly life, God's way, the life of faith.  This is the way to have live.  

One honored God and the other didn't.  These two life directions are the only two ways.  You go either one or the other.

8. a)  How is Melchizedek described?

As king of Salem.  Salem means peace.  He was a king of peace.  He was a priest of God Most High.  According to Hebrews chapter 7, he had no genealogy, nor father or mother.  He was perhaps the Son of God.

b)  What did he bring?

He brought out bread and wine.

c)  What is the significance of this?

He came out to help Abram in this time and to bless him and to set him in the right direction.  This bread and wine represents having fellowship.  Perhaps it has something to do with the communion ceremony.

9. a)  How did he bless Abram?

"Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.  And blessed be God Most High who delivered your enemies into your hand."

b)  What did he teach Abram about God?

That God is Most High and the Creator of heaven and earth.  There is no one greater than God or high than him.  He owns all things and can give us all things.  Nothing is too hard to him.

c)  About his recent victory?

It was God, not himself, that delivered his enemies into his hands.  The battle was really fought and won by God.  God fights for us when we live by faith.

d)  Why was this important for Abram at this time?

Abram was young in faith.  This victory could have made him proud.  He could forget God and focus on worldly gain and human honor.  Now God had made his name great.  He must honor God and glorify God.  

All victories come from God.  God wants us to be humble and God wants for us to give him the glory he deserves as God.  When God gives us great victories, we must praise and thank him even more and look to him even more.  We must look less and less to ourselves and more to God.

10. a)  How did Abram respond to Melchizedek's blessing?

Abram gave him a tenth of everything.  Abram accepted Melchizedek's words and thanked him.  Abram recognized God as Most High Creator who gave him the victory.  Abram believed that he was blessed by God.  Perhaps this blessing opened his spiritual eyes.

b)  What does this mean?

This giving of a tenth is the first mention of tithing in the Bible.  It shows Abram's thankful heart.  Also, God had sent a shepherd to Abram in the time he needed a shepherd most.

11. a)  What did the king of Sodom suggest about the disposition of the spoils of the war?

The king of Sodom wanted to get the people from Abram.  Perhaps he wanted to build a large army.  He told Abram that he could keep the gifts himself.

b)  Why?

The king of Sodom was selfish and wanted to use Abram for his own purpose so that he could get rich and powerful.  So his motive were to strike a deal with Abram and use him deceptively for his own selfish purpose.  Worldly people only want to use us and abuse us for their purpose.

12. a)  What reason did Abram give for refusing to keep any of the material goods of Sodom for himself?

According to verse 23, " that you will never be able to say, 'I made Abram rich.'"

b)  What does this reveal about his faith?

His faith is growing.  Abram had received Melchizedek's blessings.  He was reminded that he must honor God and fear God.  Abram was reminded not to live or be like the worldly people.  So through this blessing from Melchizedek, he could live before God's eyes and raise his hand to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and take an oath.  He learned also, "God most High, Creator of heaven and earth."  He didn't need anything from the king of Sodom.  He swore not to accept anything from him, not even a thread or a thong of a sandal.  He didn't want to compromise or deal with evil and wickedness. He did not want to get involved in bad company which corrupts good character.  He then returned to his simple shepherd life following God's leading.

Here, we see that Abram made a firm decision to rely upon God only.  Actually, he could gain a great amount of property at that moment.  But because he believed God who can make him rich, he refused a deal with wicked man.  He made a decision to live by faith in God only, though it meant an actual loss and sacrifice.



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