Bible Studies By James Thornton / last year Share Tweet Pin Share WHEN YOU NEED A FRIEND Several kings attack Sodom and take Lot captive. (Genesis 14:1-16) Abram with his tent and his altar is dwelling in Hebron when suddenly his quiet life is shattered… A man is running, a messenger is coming with bad news, “your nephew Lot has been taken captive.” In Genesis 14 we are introduced to the first war ever recorded in scripture. It vividly contrasts the blustering armies of the earth with the quiet overcoming power of faith. We get the first glimpse of these earthly armies in the first three verses of Genesis 14. Four kings, one as far away as Afghanistan, are banded together, and after invading nation after nation, subduing and plundering at will, are at the gates of Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 14:2. “That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeberking of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.” Sodom pictures the world in its lust for wealth and sensual pleasures. The invading armies from the east portray the world in its raw naked power. Power to enslave and tyrannize and take away physical liberties of man. Here are two different forces, both arising out of the fallen nature of man. One desires material gain, economic advancement, luxury, ease, and sensual pleasure, the other animalistic nature. Now Lot, having been separated from Abram several years, has long ago moved into Sodom. He no longer worships before an altar; he has lost touch with God. He stands helpless before the apparent invincibility of this enemy. Genesis 14:5-7. Reveals the raw, naked power of this army, subduing the Amalekites, Kadesh, Rephaim, and Zuzim. These last two were families of giants… These were mighty men, some eight feet tall, And greatly feared by those around them. David fought one of them. Here then was an enemy seemingly invincible, relentless, unstoppable, striking fear into every heart as they crushed all opposition. Genesis 14:11. And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. 12. And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. If it was not for what happened in this last verse, the world would have never known about all these marauders. Lot, his family, and all his goods were carried away by the invading army. WHEN YOU NEED A FRIEND: Genesis 14:13 Perhaps, as Lot, you have found yourself captured against your will by some evil habit, or power, that enslaves you. That’s when you need a friend. The Holy Spirit shifts the scene to Hebron and to Abram on the mountainside so that we might see the overcoming power of faith. Genesis 14:13. “And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram. That’s when the man, running, the messenger we spoke of earlier, arrived at Abram’s tent. Perhaps Lot, at the last minute, before his capture, sent this man to find, and tell Abram. Perhaps in desperation, Lot turns to Abram… “I need help.” “Help me if you can.” All hope for Lot now rests in Abram’s hand. Perhaps there is someone today that is taken captive by some evil force, some evil habit, which you cannot escape from. One Christian can often be the means of deliverance to a weaker brother or sister. Galatians 6:1. “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in a fault, ye which is spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Be on the lookout for signals for help… Learn to recognize the signs someone is sending. You that need help, Send a note, Make that call, Raise your hand. You may not have the spiritual strength to walk down to the altar. But somehow send the message, send it today. VICTORY ACHIEVED: (Genesis 14:14-16) Let us see how deliverance came for Lot. Genesis 14:14. “And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. 15. And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. 16. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.” 318 men, trained for battle.. Disciplined men he could rely upon. His own men, born in his own house. Only 318. But, that was all he needed. Remember at this time Abraham was probably 85 years old. It might have seemed a pitiful handful against the vast armies of those four kings who had come out of the east, plundering everything before them. God wants us to learn a lesson from this that God’s victories are never won by force of numbers. Zechariah 4:6b. “., This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts. God wanted us to know that numbers didn’t matter. Leviticus 26:8. And five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. Moses and Aaron stood against the might of Egypt. Sham-gar took on 300 Philistines with an ox-goad. Gideon with 300 men defeated vast numbers. Jephthah, Samson, and David were all out-numbered. Elijah withstood nine hundred prophets of Baal. If 318 people were to gather to pray today, what a day this would be. If those 318 knew how to pray, were trained in the warfare of prayer, they would shake the powers of evil around the world. 318 could put to rout all the armies of evil. Abram’s strategy. Abram divided his forces into a two-pronged attack. We also have two very powerful weapons in spiritual warfare. The word of God, and prayer. Ephesians 6:17b. “.., And the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God: 18. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” Abram pursued them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus (150 miles). Abram never let up, he kept on, he pressed to the utmost, he did not quit fighting until complete victory. Don’t stop praying at the first break in the enemy’s resistance. Press on through until you have won a complete victory. In verse 16, we see the extent of the victory Abram won. Genesis 14:16. “And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.” There was complete and total deliverance. James 5:16b. “… The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. A Chinese translation says, “The earnest hot-headed prayer of a righteous man releases great power.” When you need a friend. You will never need a friend any more than when you have fallen into a snare of the devil. Seek out some friend, Some saint of God, Someone you can trust, Lay the matter out before them. Ask them to pray for you, and with you. Abram had the resource to deliver Lot from physical bondage of the forces of the world, but only Lot could take himself out of Sodom. Lot chose to move back into Sodom where he was to eventually lose everything Abram had regained for him when God destroyed Sodom. Sodom represented an inward choice in the heart of this man. If Lot chose to live there, Abram could not help him, not much could be done for him. When Lot could not help himself, Abram, separated in the heart from Sodom-like attitudes that rendered Lot so powerless was able to lay hold of God and effect a great and mighty deliverance. THE PERIL OF VICTORY: (Genesis 14:17-24) Abram was now on his way back to Sodom with all the goods of the city, and most of the population, including Lot and his family. It was a time of victory for Abram, and therefore a time of peril. In our spiritual life, the enemy loves to strike when we are relaxed and off-guard after some spiritual victory. Satan’s approach then is never open, or frontal, but subtle, and cunning, taking advantage of our relaxed defenses, especially after some great victory or blessing.