I. The RAID against the kings of the Jordan Valley. 1-12
A. Geographical considerations: Fertile Crescent, Jordan Valley
B. The political setting: Ancient Near East city-states 1-4
1. The five eastern kings 1
1 And it came about in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim,
2. The four western valley kings 2
2 that they made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar).
- The Suzerain-vassal political system 3-4
3 All these came as allies to the valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). 4 Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but the thirteenth year they rebelled.
C. The strategy of the raiders: throw a noose around the valley, then tighten it… 5-9
- The destruction of the surrounding kingdoms 5-7
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 battle against the five cities of the Jordan valley 8-9
8 And the king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah and the king of Admah and the king of Zeboiim and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) came out; and they arrayed for battle against them in the valley of Siddim, 9 against Chedorlaomer king of Elam and Tidal king of Goiim and Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar– four kings against five.
D. The fall of Sodom and Gomorrah 10-12
1. Their kings were both destroyed, some people escaped to the surrounding hill country 10
10 Now the valley of Siddim was full of tar pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and they fell into them. But those who survived fled to the hill country.
2. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were pillaged and their citizens enslaved, including Lot 11-12
11 Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food supply, and departed 12 And they also took Lot, Abram’s nephew, and his possessions and departed, for he was living in Sodom.
II. The RESCUE of Lot 13-16
A. Abram gathered a force and pursued the kings 13-14
13 Then a fugitive came and told Abram the Hebrew. Now he was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner, and these were allies with Abram. 14 And when Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he led out his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.
1. Abram attacked and defeated the invaders 15-16
15 And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus.
2. Abram delivered the captives and retrieved the spoil 16
16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his relative Lot with his possessions, and also the women, and the people.
III. The REWARDS offered to Abram by two kings 17-24
A. The king of Sodom 17, 21-24
- He was a new king—the former king having died 17
17 Then after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
- The king of Sodom offered Abram all the goods, if he would leave all the people to the king 21
21 And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself.”
- Abram chose to depend on God alone, not the king of Sodom 22-24
22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ 24 “I will take nothing except what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their share.”
B. Melchizedek, king of Salem 18-20
A. Who he was 18
- His name = “King of Righteousness”
- His kingdom-city = Salem (peace)
- His priesthood = priest of the Most High God (El Elyon)
now he was a priest of God Most High.
- El Elyon = God, God Most High = this is a descriptive name for God, identifying Him as being above and superior to any/all imaginable gods that anyone might come up with. It is the name for the God of the Gentiles! (The demon-possessed (Gentile) man who lived in the graves = “What do we have to do with you, Jesus, Son of God Most High”? The Philippian slave girl, “These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.”
B. He provided rest, refreshment, and blessing to Abram 18-20a
18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; 19 And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tenth of all.
C. Abram gave a tenth of the spoils to Melchizedek 20b
And he gave him a tenth of all.
Conclusion: When we come into the King’s Valley, which King will we serve?
- There is a King of a Dark Kingdom at work in the world today
- Eph 2:2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
A. Though a defeated prince, he retains a measure of authority and power in this present system.
- 1 John 5: 19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
B. He still tempts people to trust in his schemes and deals instead of God’s promises.
- Luke 4:5 And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 “Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” 8 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.'”
C. In the end, he will be judged, and everything he offers will be lost and burned up.
- 1 John 2:15 Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
2. There is the King of Peace who offers relief and reconciliation to all who simply trust Him, today and forever!
- Psalm 110: 4 The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, “Thou art a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.”
A. Jesus is the perfect High Priest, satisfying God’s righteous requirements for our sins, and then securing peace between us and God.
B. Jesus is the perfect High Priest, blessing us with rest and spiritual nourishment; interceding on our behalf before the throne of God.
C. Jesus is the perfect High Priest, interceding for us before the throne of God.
- Melchizedek = King of Righteousness, King of Salem = King of Shalom, Peace
- Bread and Wine = nourishment, fellowship = The Lord’s Table = spiritual nourishment and fellowship.