Life-Study of Genesisby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we come to the victory in Abraham's experience (14:11-24). If we read the book of Genesis carefully, we shall see that apart from chapter fourteen it does not relate much concerning the international affairs among the Gentiles. But chapter fourteen gives us a record concerning the international fighting among the Gentiles. Why is there such a record? The wording in the Bible is very economical. Not one word is wasted. Nevertheless, chapter fourteen is almost entirely concerned with the international fighting among the Gentile kingdoms. The events in chapter fourteen, however, are not just related to international affairs but are sovereignly related to God's people. Why does this chapter dedicate such a lengthy word to the international fighting among the Gentiles? Although this fighting apparently was international, actually it was sovereignly arranged by the Lord. God is sovereign over the environment and over all the events concerning His people. In the land of Canaan at that time, there were only two families of the Hebrew racethe family of Abraham and the family of Lot. All of the rest were Gentiles. In this chapter we see that God was sovereign, causing something to happen for the good of His people.
Chapter fourteen of Genesis relates the fighting between a group of four kings and a group of five kings. Eventually, the five kings were defeated by the four kings. If you read carefully, you will see this fighting was absolutely for Lot and for Abraham. In other words, both Lot and Abraham, the two Hebrews, were put to the test under God's sovereignty. Was this fighting good or not? Humanly speaking, no fighting is good. However, in this chapter the fighting was good for Lot and especially for Abraham. In this message we need to see the profitable aspects related to God's people in this fighting.
The fighting occurred mainly at Sodom. It mainly happened at Sodom because one of God's people, Lot, was living there. Before the time of that fighting, Lot had separated himself from Abraham (13:11). Do you think that it was good for Lot to have separated himself from Abraham? No, it was not good. All of the young people today like to be separated from the older generation. In God's economy, however, it is not good for the young ones to be separated from the older generation. If you do this, you will miss the mark and the protection. At the time of Genesis 13, God's goal and eternal mark were with Abraham. If you had been there and had separated yourself from him, it would have been equal to separating yourself from God's mark. God's goal is with the called ones. If you separate yourself from the called ones, you separate yourself from God's goal. Lot should never have separated himself from Abraham, because God's goal was with Abraham. To leave Abraham was to leave God's mark. Moreover, to leave Abraham was to leave the protection.
Lot was not firstly defeated by the four kings. That defeat was the issue of at least two foregoing defeats. Before Lot was captured by Chedorlaomer, he already had had two defeats. The first defeat occurred when Lot's herdmen were striving against Abraham's herdmen and Abraham offered Lot the choice of the land (13:7-11). When Abraham offered the choice to Lot, Lot should have said, "Uncle, my choice is you. My choice is your choice. I don't like to make any choice of my own. If my herdmen will not listen to me, I will fire them, but I will never go away from you. I have no choice but you and your choice." But, on the contrary, when Abraham gave him his choice, immediately, without much consideration, Lot made his choice and went his way. That was his first defeat.
After separating from Abraham, "Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom" (13:12). Lot was going downhill. After taking the first step downward, it was easy for him to take the second and the third. The first step was leaving Abraham, who stood afar off from Sodom. Lot took the way that was toward Sodom. He walked in the direction of Sodom. In the eyes of God, Sodom was a wicked and sinful city (13:13). Lot, as one of the people of God, surely knew this. He should have stayed away from Sodom and not have walked towards it. Nevertheless, because the land around Sodom was rich, Lot journeyed toward Sodom. Eventually, he moved into the city, lived there, and settled there. That was his second defeat.
Do you think that God will allow His people to dwell in such a wicked city? Certainly not. Thus, under God's sovereignty, Chedorlaomer led the attack against Sodom. God allowed that war to take place. Four kings fought against five kings. Humanly speaking, the five kings should have been victorious since their number was greater. But the four kings defeated the five kings, and the city of Sodom was taken. The Bible stresses the taking of Sodom because Lot dwelt there. This fighting was not merely a matter of four kings against five kings; it was a fighting for one of God's people. Lot might have been peaceful as he dwelt in Sodom, but God was not peaceful. God would never allow Lot to stay there in peace. God might have said, "Lot, you may have peace within, but I will stir up some disturbance from without. I will send the four kings to defeat the five kings and capture your city. They will capture you, your family, and all that you have." This is in fact what happened to Lot. Lot suffered defeat after defeat. Eventually, as the last step of his defeat, he fell into the hands of the enemy. He was captured, and the king of Sodom could not help him.
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