Abram, in Genesis 14, faced a dilemma. His nephew Lot, who had settled near Sodom (13:12) was now dwelling in Sodom (14:12), and had been taken captive when four mighty kings, who had already swallowed many peoples, defeated an alliance of five kings in the Valley of Sidim. When he was alerted, Abram rallied his army of 318 (!), strategically divided his forces, and rescued Lot, his people and possessions. His response? To sacrifice.
“After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him,” Abram was greeted by two kings. Melchizedek, King of Salem and priest of God Most High, brought bread and wine and gave him a blessing. “Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” The King of Sodom offered him the goods he’d retrieved, but Abram refused, intimating that all glory for this victory was God’s, and he wanted no tie to this leader of a wicked city. His natural, immediate response, in receiving impossible blessing and bounty from “the Possessor of heaven and earth,” was to give, to offer a sacrifice of gratitude and praise.
“Worship is giving God the best He has given you. Be careful what you do with the best you have. Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift…in a deliberate act of worship.” – Oswald Chambers
The world tells us we deserve accolades, privilege, credit, reward, ease—we have a ‘right’ because ‘we did it.’ But “whenever right is made the guidance of life, it will blunt spiritual insight.” (Oswald Chambers) Most High God is the only One Who deserves all riches, honor and praise in the victories He works for us.
“What do you have that you did not receive?” 1 Corinthians 4:7
May my first impulses stream with gratitude, my first response to any victory be ‘all for Jesus.’