The Knockoff King
Posted: Saturday, January 6
Verse of the day:
“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, 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.’” (Genesis 14:22-23, NIV)
We live surrounded by knockoffs – copies or imitations of expensive or designer products. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized more than 2,000 shipments of counterfeit beauty products in 2016 alone. Since these knockoffs can be detrimental to our health, seizing them has become one of their top priorities.
The Patriarch Abram was also surrounded by knockoffs. We find a great example of this in today’s text. Allow me to briefly retell the story.
A confederation of armies defeated the King of Sodom and took his people and his treasures. One of those kidnaped was Lot, Abram’s nephew.
Abram chose to rescue his nephew by gathering to himself 318 experienced men of war. This was a dangerous mission. Astonishingly, he was able to rescue his nephew, the other slaves, and the treasures of Sodom. This was nothing short of a miracle.
On his way back, Abram encountered Melchizedek, King of Salem (ie. King of Peace) and Priest of God Most High. Melchizedek blessed Abram. In turn, Abram blessed God and gave the 10% of everything to Melchizedek. Although this encounter sounds out of place in this story, it’ll make sense at the end. Let’s continue with our story.
The King of Sodom was so grateful that he wanted to pay Abram for his services. This was only fair after all Abram had rescued both the people and the treasures of Sodom. Notice the subtlety of this temptation. It appeared to be so right and proper!
Yet in an unexpected twist to the story, Abram didn’t receive the reward. By accepting it, Abram would’ve been pledging allegiance to the King of Sodom and thus tying his own future to the king’s – either in prosperity or defeat.
Abram didn’t receive the blessing from the King of Sodom, the Knockoff King, because he had pledged allegiance to God Most High, the King of Kings. During his meeting with Melchizedek, Abram had tied both his present and his future success to the King of Kings. So, his future prosperity was going to come from the hand of God and not from the abundance of Sodom. He realized that to choose the Knockoff King was going to be detrimental to his wellbeing.