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Genesis 14:1-24 - Homilies By J.f. Montgomery

The kingdom of God in its relation to the contending powers of this world.

I. GOD 'S JUDGMENTS ARE ALREADY BEGINNING TO FALL . War is made by confederate kings or princes against the people of the wicked cities of the plain, who by their propinquity would naturally be leagued together, but by their common rebellion against Chedorlaomer were involved in a common danger. Notice the indication of the future judgment given in the course of the narrative—"the vale of Siddim was full of slime-pits." God's vengeance underlies the wicked, ready to burst forth on them in due time.

II. THE UNFAITHFUL LOT IS INVOLVED IN THE JUDGMENT . He and his goods are taken. For while before it is said he pitched his tent near to Sodom, now we find that he is in Sodom.

III. THE MEDIATION OF ABRAM , representative of that of God's people in the world, procures the deliverance of the backsliding. He has already succeeded in drawing strength to himself; and doubtless Abram the Hebrew represented a nucleus of higher life even in that land of the idolatrous and degenerate which was recognized as in some sense a refuge to which men could appeal.

IV. THE VICTORY OF THE CHILD OF GOD , with his small company, over the great army of heathen is typical. It represents, like the victory of David over Goliath, &c; the superior might of the spiritual world (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:27-31 ).

V. THE HOMAGE PAID TO ABRAM as the conqueror both by the heathen king of Sodom and the priest-king of Salem is typical of the superior position of the covenant people. Abram gave tithes to Melchizedek (cf. Hebrews 7:1-7 ) as an acknowledgment of the superiority of the position of Melchizedek, but Melchizedek blessed Abram as the possessor of the promise. The idea is that Melchizedek was the priest of a departing dispensation, Abram the recipient of the old and the beginning of the new.

VI. ABRAM 'S STRICT SEPARATION from the worldly power, which he rested on an oath of faithfulness to God, shows that he is decidedly advancing in spiritual character. The contrast is very striking between his conduct and that of Lot. He at the same time does not attempt to enforce his own high principle upon others. The Church of God has suffered much from its attempts to apply its own high rules to the world instead of leaving the world to find out for itself their superiority and adopt them.— R .

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