Genesis 14-16

Summary

In Genesis chapter 14, the battle of four kings against the king of Sodom and his allies. Lot is taken prisoner. Abram rescues him. Melchizedek blesses Abram at his return, who gives him tithes. The rest of the spoil, his partners having had their portions he restores to the king of Sodom.

In Genesis chapter 15, God encourages Abram, who complains for want of an heir. God promises him a son, and a multiplying of his seed. Abram is justified by faith. Canaan is promised again, and confirmed by a sign, and a vision, prophetic of the condition of his posterity till brought out of Egypt.

Genesis chapter 16, Sarai, being barren, gives Hagar to Abram. Hagar, being afflicted for despising her mistress, runs away. An angel commands her to return and submit herself, promises her a numerous posterity, and shows their character and condition. Hagar names the place, and returns to Sarai. Ishmael was born to Abram at the age of 86.

Prayers and Insight

Sometimes we must move into action quickly. Abram heard that Lot had been captured by a raiding band of soldiers from Mesopotamia (the area Abram was from). Abram gathered all his men trained to fight, and some from other tribes who suffered from their raid. In a night attack, Abram’s soldiers defeated the raiding army. Abram did something because he had to save his nephew, Lot.

  • Lord, when an emergency comes, may I not forget emergency prayers. Sometimes we must act decisively because of an accident, sickness, or crisis that happens to our family or friends. It may not be our responsibility, but we are dragged into a “mess” for some reason. When we don’t know what to do-pray! This may be called desperate prayers or emergency prayers, but we must bring God and His resources into the crisis.
  • Lord, when everyone else panics, help me keep a level head to think soundly. Help me know what to do. Help me do it with authority so I lead others to do the right thing. Then beyond all that humans can do, send Your resources to solve the problem. Amen.

When Abram returned home, he was met by Melchizedek, king of Salem (Jerusalem). There in the Kidron Valley, far below the towering walls of the city, Melchizedek gave Abram a banquet, and he blessed Abram. When we bless others, we are adding spiritual value to their lives. Melchizedek was adding spiritual riches to Abram’s life. Abram had won the spoils of war, namely, animals, clothing, gold, silver, etc. Now he had the blessing of God who possesses heaven and earth.

  • Lord, beyond all the money and property and “stuff” I gather in this life, I want Your spiritual riches. Amen.

Because Abram defeated the larger invading army of four nations (14:1), he might have been afraid of a counterattack. So God came to Abram and told him not to be afraid (15:1). That meant, “Don’t be afraid of what those enemies might do to you.” Why? Because the Lord said, “I am your shield” (15:1). When you are afraid of attacks and retaliation, remember to pray protectively, because God can protect you when no one else can do it.

  • Lord, all kinds of dangers are in this world; protect me from friends, enemies, swindlers, robbers, and crazies. Protect me when I can’t protect myself. Protect me when I don’t know I need protection. Protect me from all kinds of dangers that would steal from me and compromise me or kill me. May nothing come into my life except the things that are Your will. Amen.

Abram gave away all the spoils of war. He was not a lustful man. So God told him, “I will protect you” (15:1). When you have God, who owns heaven and the earth, why be lustful of things? God can give you more than you could ever make with hard work, or by winning battles.

  • Lord, I lift my hand to You as Abram did, for You are my reward. I will be satisfied with the belongings You give me. Amen.

Because of Sarah’s jealousy, Hagar took water and food and ran away from the camp of Abraham. She was Egyptian, so she headed home to Egypt, but got lost in the desert. She was about to die from the harshness of the desert but God protected her. In response she declared, “Thou God seest me” (16:13, KJV). How many times has God protected you from danger and you didn’t know it? Did you praise God for His presence in danger?

  • Lord, thank You for protecting me from danger in the past. I am alive this day because of Your providence. I ask for Your protection in the future. Amen.

Hagar prayed to God because she recognized that God was with her and God saw all that happened to her. Circumstances had worked against her, but she knew that God saw what happened. Hagar had not originally tried to win the love of Abraham away from Sarah, her master. So Hagar called on God who saw all the wrong done to her.

  • Lord, see me when people treat me wrong, and see me when I am punished for something I haven’t done.
  • Lord, see me when others despitefully use me. Protect me when I can’t protect myself from dangers I see, and from dangers I can’t see. Amen.

Sources

  • Bible Summary – Adapted from The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge by R. A. Torrey
  • Insights and Prayers – Adapted from The Prayer Bible