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March 5, 2022 7:00 am
You know, today we call him to one of the most interesting chapters in all the book of Genesis Genesis chapter 14 in which were going to be some amazingly interesting people. For example, Kerala O Mayor and beer Shaw and beer and Melchizedek and many others. But this chapter is not only full of interesting people.
It's also chalk full of spiritual truth that is applicable for our lives today, so we're going to spend the next several weeks in and around the Genesis chapter 14 trying to milk all of the spiritual truth out of it. That's in there for you and me in today. What were going to talk about is who's the glory. Are we after and I think when were done today. You'll understand why I entitled the message as I did so are you ready okay here we go just a little bit of review before we dig and remember that lots Abraham's nephew has separated from Abraham and gone down to live in the southern Jordan Valley, around the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and Abraham has moved a little to the north and is now living in. He brought so that's where we pick up the story. Chapter 14 verse one. The Bible says and it came about in the days of Omron spell of sin are an area, the King of LSR and Kerala O Mayor, the king of Elam and consider all the King of glory him that they made war against beer, the king of Sodom and beer Shaw the King of Gomorrah at all these verses tell us that these four kings from the East invaded the southern Jordan Valley while Locke was living there and the verse four of this chapter tells us why they invaded it says for 12 years. The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah had been subject to Kerala O Mayor, but in the 13th year they rebelled and so Kerala old mayor led this invasion force into the southern Jordan Valley to reestablish his control.
Verse eight then the king of Sodom beer.
I'm the king of Gomorrah beer Shaw that we know from verse one and their allies marched out in a raid for battle in the valley of the Dean. Now the Valley of city was full of tar pits and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled the obviously got beat some of the men fell into these tips, while the rest ran away into the hill country, then Kerala, Olmert and his allies seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and departed. They also carried off Abraham's nephew Lot and his possessions for he was living in Sodom now before we go on with the chapter, we need to stop and ask an important question and that question is did this event did this invasion really happen the way the Bible says it did. And the reason we need to ask this is because critics of the Bible have challenged up the historical accuracy of Genesis 14, more than almost any other event in the book of Genesis, but archaeology over the last hundred years has really helped us.
In fact, Nelson Greek Jewish rabbi, famed archaeologist, the resident expert really on the archaeology of the southern Jordan Valley around Sodom and Gomorrah.
He said this and I quote he said archaeology has discovered much which has buttressed the accuracy of the biblical account of the existence and destruction of these cities by the kings of the east end of quote. Now I'm not going to give you everything archaeology has discovered, but I just like to hit three of the very most important things that Nelson Greek here is talking about number one we have found letters from the ancient city of Mari northern Mesopotamia, and these letters tell us that in 2100 BC right at the time the Bible says Abraham and Lot live that indeed there was a powerful alliance between the four nations that Genesis 14 mentions. Moreover, archaeology tells us that this alliance fell apart not long after the time of Abraham, the point is that the Bible's account of this alliance in Genesis 14 is accurate to a fault. During the time of Abraham and Lot not a long time before Abraham and lost time not a long time after but right during that. Accurate to a fall. The second point from archaeology is that archaeology also tells us why these kings of the east wanted to control the southern Jordan Valley during this time in his excavations of the southern Jordan Valley.
Our friend Nelson Greek town that at the time of Abraham. There were extensive mining up operations going on around Sodom and Gomorrah, and that this area was producing large amounts of copper, manganese, asphalt, tar and many other raw materials that were of great value throughout the ancient near East. In other words, at the time of Abraham and Lot the area around Sodom was a raw materials bonanza for whoever controlled it, but this is very interesting.
Bleek also found that after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, which is going to happen in just a few years from Genesis 14 this mining the deceased forever. The point and don't miss this, is that the only time the area around Sodom and Gomorrah was worth fighting over. Was during the time that lots was living there precisely like the Bible says, number three, and finally archaeology has shown us that the routes that these invading kings took to invade the southern Jordan Valley, and you can find that route explained to you in verses five, six and seven of this chapter we have found that that route follows a major highway that existed at the time of Abraham, Jack Finnigan, in his book light from the ancient past said and I quote a main highway ramp from north to south through the land at this time, which is clearly traceable. The highway is from the ruins of sites dated from the 23rd to the 20th centuries BC the time of Abraham. I watched this was the exact line along which the Eastern kings of Genesis 14 moved.
The point is that the Bible's account here in Genesis 14 of the invasion route that these kings talk lays out squares perfectly with the transportation patterns that we now know existed at the time of Abraham. The result of all this archaeological discovery is the Genesis 14 is now regarded with a high degree of historical respect words once it was dismissed as a historical piece of nonsense Edward Yamaguchi in his book the stones in the Scriptures said this and I quote he said the unmistakable shift towards a conservative view of Genesis 14 may be illustrated by comparing the opinion expressed about Genesis 14 by Dr. William Albright in 1918 verses 1961. I remember Dr. William F. Albright is probably the greatest archaeologist America has ever produced. He taught at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and he published an article in 1918, about Genesis 14 he published another one in 1961. This what Yamaguchi is talking about the listen back to his quote in 1918. The article then Yamaguchi says Dr. Albright regarded this chapter. Genesis 14 as quote without historical foundation" some 40 years later, Yamaguchi says Dr. Albright asserted that his studies had quote established the absolute antiquity of the contents of this chapter." Fools you know what those people took off a lot of words to say what we say here in one sentence.
And you know what I one sentences go to say it with me. Come on now nice and loud, the more they dig out of the ground the more the Bible proves to be right and that's exactly what's happened here in Genesis chapter 14 so archaeology confirms that the way to approach Genesis 14 and folds the way that we are going to approach Genesis 14 is to assume number one that there really was an invasion of Sodom and Gomorrah by these kings, while lot was living there to assume number two deadlock really was taken captive by this invasion force and number three to assume that Abraham really did do what Genesis 14 says he did next was that Willis rated verse 13 then someone would escape from Sodom and Gomorrah came and told Abraham the Hebrew what it happened.
Now, at this time Abraham was living in Hebron on remember by the Oaks of mom read the MRI, the brother of Esther: enter all three of whom were Allied. These were people with Abraham and when Abraham heard that his relative lots had been taken captive. He mustered his 318 trained men who had been born in his household and sets out in pursuit that we don't see it here but we learn later in verse 24 that Abraham just didn't have 318 men with the actually also Anna went with human Esco went with the men. Mom Ray went with him. His three buddies and they took their troops to verse 15 and so Abraham divided his forces against them. That is the invading force by night to attack them and Abraham Routt said them and kept attacking them as far north as Damascus and Abraham recovered all the goods that had been taken as well as his relative lots and all lots possessions along with the women and all the people good for Abraham.
Now he had so with his army and lots and all the people from Sodom and Gomorrah and all the material wealth that he's recaptured and on the way home he needs to King on the way we show you with ART number one was a fellow named Melchizedek. Verse 18, then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine for Abraham's troops and he Melchizedek was a priest of the most high God and he blessed Abraham, then Abraham gave him Melchizedek eight extensive or a tie. The of everything. This Melchizedek is one of the most intriguing characters in the entire Bible verse 18 of this chapter tells us he appears from nowhere. He's a priest of the most high God. He blesses Abraham and Abraham gives him 10% at five of all the material wealth, that he is gotten from the battle as a worship offering is a Thanksgiving offering for God-given in the victory, you say will long. Who is this guy Melchizedek and where did he come from well you know what he reappears in the Bible. He plays a very important role in the book of Hebrews and I'm going to explain all of that to you but not today. When you get to it.
I promise the next couple weeks. Just not today. Now Abraham met a second King on his way back the King of Sodom verse 17 and after Abraham returned from defeating Kerala over the king of Sodom came out to meeting and the king of Sodom said to Abraham give the people to me and keep all the good stuff for you so that we need to understand that in the ancient near East. This was standard operating procedure when an army and of the leader of an army captured a people or captured another Army. All of the material wealth they captured, they kept for themselves.
It was called booty or spoil.
It's where we get our expression today. The spoils of war and godly kings did this to King Asa Godley, king of Judah, and the his Hebrew army defeated their enemies and second Chronicles 14 and verse 13 says, and they Asa and his army carried away much spoil, so it was expected that Abraham would keep all the material wealth that wasn't unusual.
In fact, that's kinda what was normal procedure, but look verse 22 but Abraham said to the king of Sodom. I have sworn by the Lord God most high Creator of heaven and earth that I will accept nothing belonging to you the king of Sodom, not even of thread or the thong of a sandal so that you the king of Sodom will never be able to say I made Abraham rich. But remember, Abraham had some allies along enter Esco mom they had made the cells they had made this promise to God. And so Abraham says verse 24 but I will take the share that belongs to the man that went with me to anor and Esco and mom wrath, they shall have their share and so Abraham now returns to Hebron on lot now returns to Sodom and so ends this momentous chapter, but it doesn't end for us as we are left get ready to ask our most important question of the morning yeah and so all of our friends all you guys allowed and all you guys of Prince William.
Everybody at Bethesda all you folks down to the edge community everybody on our Internet campus. Are you ready I know you ready I'm asking if they're ready I heard that. Okay I and you are ready.
Yes okay so you know this works better to take a deep breath, thereby let's take a deep breath ready. Here we go one show third day is Alonso one say you know what I'm really glad about all that archaeology that's really wonderful. I'm glad those kings took the right Routt got the road right and all this other stuff what it is make for me. I don't see any Chock-full bunch of spiritual truth in your for me.
Well, let's see if we can help with that.
You know I did say this is chock-full of spiritual truth. This chapter and it is but today were only going to focus on one of those truths and that is were going to focus on Abraham's comment to the king of Sodom. Let me remind you what he said. Verse 22 but Abraham said to the king of Sodom. I have sworn to the Lord God most high that I will accept nothing belonging to you. Not even a thread or the thong of a sandal so that you will never be able to say I made Abraham rich know what exactly friends, is the issue here will the issue is God's glory versus Abraham's glory. Abraham wanted to be sure that God got 100% of the glory 100% of the credit 100% of the spotlight. 100% of the praise for all the blessings that he had showered on Abraham and that Abraham got 0% of it and the thinking of Sodom got 0% of and you know the reason why Abraham felt like this folks is because he realized that he deserved 0% of the credit. He reminds me of King David King David and first Chronicles 29 makes an offering for the building of the temple in Jerusalem, but this offering comes out of his own personal funds. It comes out of his own private fortune and you know the Bible tells us exactly how much David gave the Bible says David gave 7000 talents of silver that I did some deciphering this week.
You know ounces in the pounds times what the paper says silvers worth the knowledge you how much money this is a failure 7000 talents of silver is roughly $238 million in today's money, but David also gave 3000 talents of goal you how much this is in today's money. This is $5.7 billion out of his private funds.
Gotta love David's attitude right after he did it. Here's what he prayed first Chronicles 2914 he said, but who am I Lord that I should be able to give to you as generously as this look for everything comes from you and I have only given to you. What came to me from your hand.
The point is that David was acutely aware that none of the credit for his success.
None of the credit for his wealth. None of the credit for his victories. None of the credit for his achievements. None of the credit for the blessings in his life belong to him God and given all of them to an Abraham was acutely aware of this, to which is why he said what he did to the king of Sodom.
Abraham wanted to make absolutely certain that all the glory for everything in his life with the Almighty God that Abraham got 0% of that glory and that the king of Sodom got 0% of that glory. Now you see a message here for the church of Jesus Christ in America today because I do is my opinion that in the church of Jesus Christ in America today and I'm not talking about the liberal church I'm talking about the Bible believing gospel preaching true church of Christ in America today it is my opinion that when it comes to this issue of self-glorification and self-promotion and self exultation that we do not have a problem in the church in America today. We have an epidemic. All you have to do. Just watch Christian television or listen to Christian radio.
Just read a lot of what's out there in Christian literature self-promotion self glory. Self exultation a few years ago, one of the pastors on our staff went to a a pastors conference and one of the pastors there came up to our guy and said so tell me at McLean Bible church.
He said are you an assistant pastor or are you an associate pastor in our guy said oh no no in this other pastor said you know it just burns me up when somebody calls me an assistant pastor when really I'm an associate pastor folks. What's wrong with us in the church of America today. Do you really think Peter walked around worrying whether he was an assistant apostle or an associate apostle you think even cared about stuff like that. I mean you EEE you know how we all become like the doctor fees and third John nine. The apostle John said loves the preeminence in the church of America today and we as followers of Christ in America today. We need to mortify this love of self-promotion.
This love of self glory. This love of self exultation that not only lives inside of us, but that we see so many of our Christian leaders demonstrating we need to stop thinking about our lives in terms of our prestige, our position, our titles are power our notoriety, our reputation among the saints and we must make God the center of our lives and make his glory, the paramount issue in our lives, not ours, and listen. If God decides to exalt somebody else over us. If God decides to use somebody else instead of us. If God decides to give the credit to somebody else instead of us.
Hey, as long as God gets the glory. How dare we resent that how dare we resist that.
How dare we object to that and chafe under that was wrong with us. We whatever happened to the words of John the Baptist. John three verse 30 when he said he the Lord Jesus must increase but I must. What decrease whatever happened to Christians like the apostle Paul and Barnabas, who, when they returned from the first missionary journey.
Acts 1427. The Bible says and they gathered church together and reported what God had done through them. They didn't report what we have drawn. They reported what God had done whatever happened to Christian leaders like Jim Elliott, the famous missionary who died in 1956, trying to reach the arc of Indians in South America. Jim Elliott said we're just a bunch of nobodies trying to exalt the great somebody and I love the words of Dwight L. Moody commenting on Moses, he said and I quote Moses spent 40 years in Pharaoh's court thinking he was a somebody 40 years in the desert learning. He was a nobody and 40 years showing what God can do with a somebody who realizes he's a nobody, you follow that.
Yeah a myth. You drive a challenge. I'd like to issue to myself. You can get in on it. If you want. I love John MacArthur said. He said people don't get it. I preach to me and they just get to come listen and is a lot of truth to that. So this challenges for me above everybody here, but it's for you to I want to challenge us every true follower of Christ. Here to say that our goal is to follow the example of Abraham to follow the example of Barnabas and the apostle Paul and Jim Elliott to make it our heartfelt goal in life that the Lord Jesus Christ get every ounce of credit every ounce of glory from our lives from every good thing in our lives.
From every success in our lives from every victory in our lives and that we not only give him the credit in our hearts, but we give him the credit with our mouths swimming by that friends. What I need is so often as followers of Christ, we don't mean to do this but so often we rob God of his glory because we failed to give him the verbal credit he deserves people see all the blessings that God is given us in our life.
They see the spiritual joy the spiritual peace the spiritual strength the spiritual wisdom they see the physical health and the physical stamina and the material provision God's given us. They see the stability in our lives and our families lives that comes from walking with Christ and in our mind. We may be giving all the credit to God and saying, Lord, we know this is all from you, but folks, unless we open our mouth and tell other people that this is where it came from there going to get it wrong and they going to give the creditor's begun open our mouths and make sure that people know where the credit belongs is not good enough just to know what in our heart we got to all people not remember my father many years ago when he was still living, came to me. I've been a believer about five years and he came to me and he said and you know I gotta tell you I was the worst son known to man. I can even I don't horrible bedding come close to describing how bad a son I was disgusting, stomach turning, I don't know word. I was horrible. I had no respect for my parents. No steam for my parents. I mean, I was just for I was to her terrible as a horrible son and when I first came to Christ the Lord convicted me of this of how what would how sinful and how awful this was, and I really began asking God to change my heart and make me you know the kind of son I should be and I worked hard on that in the Lord really did work in my life. My dad came to be about five years in to my Christian walk, and he said to me with just out of the blue he said you know what he said you really have become a wonderful son and I said no, dad, you're wrong. I said I am the same awful rotten terrible son. I have always been what you are seeing is the transforming power of Jesus Christ in my life as a don't give the credit to me.
You given it to the wrong place. You need to give the credit to the living Christ who's changing my life keys where the credit belongs in my dad said whatever walked out of the room.
I thought, but I believe it had an effect on my dad because you know why.
Two years later my father gave his life to Jesus Christ, friends, praise the Lord for that now listen as followers of Christ. It's critical that we give God outward verbal credit for all that he does. We don't have to be obnoxious about it and we don't have to be sappy about it. We can do it with class and we can do it with respect, but everywhere we go. My friends, everyone.
We need should know that our explanation for what's going on in our life is the very same explanation. The apostle Paul.
After what was going on in his life. He said first Corinthians 1510 if by the grace of God that I am what I am nice about lawn. This is wonderful but you know when I look in my heart. I see some really ugly stuff in there. I see self-promotion. I see self exaltation. I see resentment when other people get ahead of me. I see resentment when other people get the spotlight I see self-promotion yeah you know what it's in all of us is part of the warp and the roof of our flesh, folks.
Nobody nobody is 100% pure on this. I've got it in my heart to use it while so what we do about it's great to stand up here and tell us we need to give God all the how do we fix this will. The Bible tells us we need to do two things. Number one, we have to come to God and admit we got the problem. We got a come to God and get on our knees and say Lord Jesus I've seen what's in my heart and it's not pretty. And this stuff is much as I hated lives in me. You know the love for the spotlight. The love for self-promotion. Lord, this is their loved rob you of your glory and the second thing we gotta do is ask God to change our Psalm 51 verse 10 create in me a pure heart, O God needs to be our prayer friends. You can't change your heart. I can't change my heart. Only the Holy Spirit can change our heart, but he can change our hearts will change our hearts if we wanted to.
If we ask him to salon. How does he do it. I don't know I don't care what difference does it make.
He doesn't and so we need to be people who come and say Lord Jesus change my heart.
I don't like what lives there expunge it from the heart and more and more and more give me a pure heart that just wants to see you get the credit I want the credit and make that not just some I say because I know I'm supposed to say make that reality in my heart Lord God will do it if you'll asking to pray together, Lord Jesus, thanks for talking to us today from the word of God about a real-life problem. We all struggle with not just preachers on television, Lord. It's all of us who is just part of our flesh have this love for the spotlight. This love for self glory, self exultation, and so father I pray that you would really speak to our hearts deeply and that you would drive us to our knees before you and drive us to the foot of the cross begging you, Lord, to change our hearts to mortify this inside of us and bring us to the place where when we say we really want God to get the glory. And we don't want any of that. That's just not nice words but it's reality for heart Lord help us learn from the example of Abraham and help us walk in his footsteps.
Change the very way we live because we were here today and we sat under the teaching of the eternal Word of God, and we pray these things in Jesus name.
What are God's people say amen