“In the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, these kings made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela. And all these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came…
“Then the king[s] of Sodom,.. Gomorrah,.. Admah,.. Zeboiim,.. and… Bela went out, and they joined battle in the Valley of Siddim with Chedorlaomer.., Tidal.., Amraphel.., and Arioch.., four kings against five. Now the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them, and the rest fled to the hill country. So the enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions,.. also Lot, the son of Abram’s brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way.
“One who had escaped came and told Abram… When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people...
“Melchizedek king of Salem… blessed him and said,
‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!’” Genesis 14:1-5,8-16,18-20
“Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.'” 2 Chronicles 20:15
The nomad herdsman Abram was discovering the swagger of power and alliances in this promised land of tightly held territories. His growing faith taught him to be prepared for conflict, so a small band among his growing household was trained for battle. Insignificant and weak as they must have appeared in the eyes of these arrogant kings, his determined army applied their strategy and stealthily defeated the armies of five kings, securing back their kinsmen and belongings. God had readied them and brought victory.
Friction, greed, and opposing pride make for heated, dangerous war. War between factions, ideologies, people groups, nations. War in our flesh cravings, impulses, fears. Threats and antagonism without and within are part of life in this fallen world, and regardless of our desire for peace, we must be prepared for the fight. Are we trained, equipped, ready? Are we aware of the enemy’s tactics, and smart enough to strategize?
The Lord blesses us by supplying us with spiritual armor for battle, even when we know not what is coming. He does. His Spirit in us is greater than the enemy spirit in the world. He ordains conflict to train us to trust Him to win, and He receives the glory. (Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 John 4:4)
Most High, keep me trained, ready, and vigilant. May I trust and exalt You for every victory.