17 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. 20 And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. 21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.” 22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me—to Aner, Eshkol and Mamre. Let them have their share.”
This passage is a great reflection on Abram and his character.
Firstly, after returning from rescuing his nephew Lot, he is greeted by Melchizedek who brings him bread and wine and then blesses him. Instead of sharing this experience with others around him, Abram responds by giving him a tenth of everything. This displays the generosity God has placed in Abram’s heart. The passage is not clear what he gave or how much this was, yet it shows that he chose to give back part of what he has been given. This is a good reminder of the importance of tithing. We choose to give back to God what he has blessed us with.
Secondly, Abram displays his devotion and integrity to God by declaring he would rather lose the riches he had been given than make an alliance with the king of Sodom (verse 23-24). This shows his faithfulness, his loyalty and his heart for God and his people.
Father I pray that you continue to teach me about living a generous life. Help me not to hold on tightly to what you have given me, but to use this for your Kingdom and your goodness. May I always stay true to your word and not be focused on the riches of this world, but your eternal glory. Amen
Written by Rachel Tomc