As we read the account of Abram in the book of Genesis we learn valuable lessons for our lives. For example, when Abram gathered his hired servants and went on to defeat the armies that raided the city of Sodom, he was met by the king of Sodom. Now the two kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled from the armies that Abram ultimately destroyed.
Genesis 14:21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, give me the people (that you rescued) and take the goods (spoil) to yourself.
It seems odd to me that the king of Sodom would put such a demand on Abram, after all he fled from the very armies Abram defeated. In my estimation he should have given Abram some sort of reward! Now lets read what Abram said to the king of Sodom:
Genesis 14:23 I will not take a thread or shoe lace, I will not take anything you claim as yours, lest you should say, “I have made Abram rich”.
Abram swore an oath to his God that he would not let any man claim to make him wealthy, his God was his source. There is something else going on here we need to pay attention to. If Abram would have accepted the king’s offer to keep all the goods from the raid, he would be indebted to the king, he would owe him a favor. Governments all over the world do wonderful things for their people and in return they demand loyalty, especially when it comes to enacting ungodly laws. So here is what Abram is saying: “oh no you don’t king, I’m not taking anything from you because you will want me to do your fighting for you in the future”. The world does nice things for people but one day they want a “pay back”.
Romans 13:8 Owe no man anything but to love one another: for he that loves others has fulfilled the law.
The only thing we should owe anyone is to love them, we cannot be free if we are in debt to others. The United States is twenty-one trillion dollars in debt, one of the countries we owe to is China. We must walk a fine line with China because if they call in our debt we don’t have the means to pay it.
The borrower is the servant of the lender.
The world loves to do “good things” for people because some day they will lord the gifts over them. When God offers a gift all He hopes for is praise which is gratitude. When the believer does kind things for people they do it in the spirit of love, asking nothing in return. Many people are skeptical of this “God kind of love” because they are accustomed to the world’s kind of love. In their minds they wonder what the Christian is going to want from them down the road.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.
God asks for just one thing in return, He just wants all people to believe what He has done. If you believe, it will cost you your life, all your sins, all your fears and you will have to forfeit your place in hell. I’m not in debt to Jesus, I’m in love with Him. He came to save me and give me a life I never dreamed of.
Pastor Jerry Lamping
Born and raised in Helena, MT, has been a Pastor for over 20 years.