Trusting God, Not Man

Trusting God, Not Man

But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich’—except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.” (Genesis 14:22-24)

Abram was the great patriarch of the Jewish people and the father of all who believe, those who trust God and are declared to be righteous. We don’t often think of him as a military man, but on at least one occasion he was. In Genesis 15, a group of four kings attacked a group of five kings, to punish them for rebellion. In the attack, the armies of the four kings took Abram’s nephew Lot as a hostage, and they returned to the north.

Trusting God, Not Man

That didn’t make Abram happy. Lot was family, and Abram would protect him. Abram gathered an army of 318 trained fighters among his servants and pursued the armies holding Lot. In a bold night attack, Abram defeated the four kings, rescued Lot, and recovered all the spoil the kings had seized from the five cities. After the battle, the king of Sodom wanted to reward Abram, offering him all the plunder.

Abram replied, I will take nothing – not even a thread! Abram would not take any of the plunder because of a vow he made to God Most High. Abram made the vow because he didn’t want any man to rightly say, I have made Abram rich. Abram determined that all the credit for his success and wealth should go to God and God alone.

As a man of faith, Abram had decided to live so that whatever outward success he gained, everyone could see that it was because of the blessing of God, not because of any generosity or help from man. His faith was in God not man; his reward would be from God and not man.

This is wise living, and especially a wise way to serve God. If apparent success comes through man-centered methods and strategies, then it is difficult to confidently say the blessing came from God. It is much better to rely on God’s methods and wisdom, so if apparent success comes, then God receives the glory, and everyone sees it was God’s work.

However, at the same time, Abram did not impose his principles on his Amorite allies – they could take their portion. They were entitled to as much of the spoil as was appropriate under the customs of the time. If they wanted to live by Abram’s faith, they could choose to do so. Abram wouldn’t force it on them.

Dear brother or sister in Christ, determine to live by faith in God instead of looking to or leaning on man.

Click here for David’s commentary on Genesis 14

Click Here for Daily Devotionals from David

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