Genesis 13 & 14

In Chapter 13 Abram and Sarai and Lot leave Egypt, and Abram realizes that the flocks of Lot and himself are too large to be grazing on the same lands, so Abram tells Lot that they should separate. Abram gives Lot the choice of where he will live, and Abram takes up some other land. When Abram gets there God tells Abram “all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth; so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted.” (Genesis 13:15-16, NRSV)

In Chapter 14 there is a big battle between a lot of the kings in the region that Abram and Lot are living. Lot ends up being captured and Abram takes his men (318 of them) to retrieve Lot.

When Abram returns he is met by King Melchizedek and Abram gives him one tenth of everything he had plundered. The King tells him to give him the persons, but to keep the goods for himself. Abram replies, “I have sworn to the Lord, God Most High, maker of heaven and earth, that I would not take a thread or a sandal-thong or anything that is yours, so that you might not say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me.”

This is a good lesson for anybody, religious or not. Abram knows that the King might later ask favors of him in return for his generosity. Abram takes nothing that is not due to him, and will therefore be left alone in the future.

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