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Lesson # Genesis 14:4-7
Study Material - Genesis 14:4-7
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
4 Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but the thirteenth year they rebelled. 5 And in the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him, came and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim and the Zuzim in Ham and the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, 6 and the Horites in their Mount Seir, as far as El-paran, which is by the wilderness. 7 Then they turned back and came to En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and conquered all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, who lived in Hazazon-tamar.
The problem. For twelve years the cities of the plain sent taxes to the rulers of the east. Generally descendants of Shem, the cities in the east saw themselves as the masters of the descendants of Ham. The Canaanite curse issued to Ham applies to all their descendants, or so it probably was the opinion of the Chedorlaomer group. Any time a curse or a law is handed down, it invariably will get distorted.. We will see a lot of this when we cover the Mosaic Law and the eventual twisting of the Law to become a rule of convenience for those in power.
The former group of the east represent earthly power, raw power. As well as the lust of rulership. In their arrogance they see themselves as the strong to whom others must pay a tribute just because they exist in their periphery, if for no other reason.
The latter group, the cities of the Jordan plain apparently grew tired of this and stopped paying to Chedorlaomer and company. This refusal took place in the 13th year and in the 14th year, Chedorlaomer arranged an alliance and brought his forces down to these cities and with sheer strength, overwhelmed them, killing, raping, and taking as he pleased.
There were several cities overrun prior to the defeat of Sodom and Gomorrah, and we see the nature and character of these cities as their names are listed.
Rephaim, 'giants', the Zuzim, 'mighty ones, heroes', the Emim, 'terrible ones', and the Horites, 'cave dwellers' in the desert lands. The desert lands referring to the whole region.
So the army of Chedorlaomer was powerful and swept down through the region, killing, and taking as they pleased. A formidable force, there was no one to stand before them.
A quick reflection on these events. The first army comes from those who rely on their strength and superiority. The second army represents those disorganized, but still impressed with their personal attributes - giants, mighty, terrible. But they were not so tough as they were easily defeated by the invading force. Note also, that there were only five kings that revolted, yet the alliance of Chedorlaomer attacked the entire region, punishing and persecuting everyone in their path before advancing on the forces of Sodom and Gomorrah
So the picture is nearly set for the real principle of this chapter. Abram lives near Bethel and Ai, about half way in between them. Remember that Bethel represents Bible doctrine, and Ai represents sin. So Abraham is caught between the two opinions, though leaning more toward doctrine. Lot on the other hand chose to leave Bible doctrine and join and pursue the pleasures and appeals of the worldly activities in the valley.
With all this activity swirling around him, Abraham is protected by God, and remains in relative safety, despite the potentially overwhelming odds against him. Lot on the other hand chose to live in the valley and is thus caught up in the problems of the world. The war will quickly overwhelm Lot who will be totally helpless with no one to help him out except God.
The world is a mass of opposing forces. Sometimes on a personal level, sometimes on a national level, these forces are driven by their respective arrogance and lusts, from the source of their sin natures. Some seek power while others seek pleasure. Either way they all exist in the jungle and there, the strong rule and the weak suffer. There is no sense of right or wrong, just winners and losers. Even though the Code of Hammurabi might be noted as a great contribution in human history, it is just a grouping of human laws with the concept of Hammurabi as being predestined by the gods 'to cause justice to radiate over the land, to surrender sinners and evildoers to destruction, and to take care that the strong should not oppress the weak.'. Its source was not God, as the Bible is, but man, who is inherently flawed. Thus the code is flawed and subject to convenient interpretation and therefore subject to mis-application.
The overwhelming opinion around Abram was anti-God. So Abram was definitely in the minority, yet he was the most protected person in the region because of Bible doctrine in his soul. He could easily have given up and surrendered. He could have easily given up and run away to Egypt as he had during the famine. But he is reinforced by the promises he has from God and the security he has from Bible doctrine.
Sooner or later we are all going to face pressures in life. If we are weak in our knowledge of Bible doctrine, then we will fall into the pit of the worlds disasters and misery as Lot did. If we are strong in faith, then, as Abram did, we will rise above the pressures and watch ad God delivers us systematically from any and all problems we encounter in life.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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