October 9, 2014

Abram had been victorious over the kings who had defeated the king of Sodom and his allies and had taken captive Abram’s nephew Lot. He had returned from this victory having recovered all the people captured by the enemy kings and all the spoils they had taken.

Melchizedek’s words had rung true for Abram – he knew that the victory was actually God’s, and he responded by giving a tenth of all the spoils to Melchizedek, who was both a king and a priest of God.

At the same time, Abram met up with the king of Sodom, whose people he had rescued. Overjoyed by the recovery of his people, the Sodomite king offered to let Abram keep all the spoils from the battle. After all, Abram had earned this reward, taking the risk of going into battle against the Eastern kings.

Abram had a different perspective, however: he was less concerned with wealth than he was with the reputation of God. Concerned that God be honored as the source of his wealth, he refused the king’s offer so that the king would never be able to claim that he had made Abram rich. Abram wanted to be sure that God was always honored as the source of all he had.

Already blessed by God with significant possessions, Abram’s head wasn’t turned by this offer of new wealth. He knew how to say “enough is enough”, and he placed a higher priority on God’s honor and on his relationship with God than he did on material possessions.

Abram’s treatment of wealth reflected his spiritual priorities. He gave to God out of gratitude for all God had provided, and he turned away from wealth that might have detracted from God’s honor in his life. What does our treatment of material resources say about our spiritual priorities?