Daily email from the Vicar Number 46

Happy Saturday, enjoy the warmer weather safely for one more day, apparently it is going to be much colder tomorrow.
Our Bible reading for today is Genesis Chapter 14.  If you were on the rota to read this aloud in church, you might want to have a Sunday off – lots of funny names!
So most of the chapter is about battles and fighting between kings, remembering these were probably kings of small tribes or towns/cities, rather than whole countries.
So we have on one side a team of 4 kings led by Kedorlaomer against a team of 5 kings led by the king of Sodom, and the 4 kings win, and because Lot, Abram’s nephew lives near Sodom, he is caught up in all of this and captured (verse 12).  A case of wrong place wrong time(!), but shows the folly of Lot’s decision in yesterday’s reading.
Abram the Hebrew (first time this word is used in the Scriptures) hears about this (verse 13) and makes plans to rescue him, and seemingly against the odds humanly speaking, but cleverly attacking at night with the element of surprise, they recover Lot, and his family and possessions (verse 16).  And of course they had the Lord on their side (see verse 20).
2 kings come to meet Abram after his victory, the mysterious Melchizedek king of Salem (or Jerusalem!) who suddenly appears and the king of Sodom, the only one seeming to survive from the original 5.
Melchizedek seems to believe in the same God as Abram (verses 19-20), so he accepts his blessing and gives 10% to him, but he in faith doesn’t do any deals with the king of Sodom (verses 22-24), perhaps learning from his mistakes in Egypt back in Chapter 12.
Sorry about the mini-sermon, but it is a strange passage to have in the Bible and needs a little explanation.  We’ll do a little detour about Melchizedek in a couple days time.
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