Life is full of choices. Lot made a selfish choice (10-12). He allied himself with ‘the men of Sodom (who) were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord’ (13). Abraham made a godly choice, and he was blessed by the Lord (14-17). The lesson of Abraham’s choice is the lesson of Matthew 6:33 – Seek God’s glory and find His blessing. We read later of Lot’s restoration (19:29). This is ‘amazing grace’! How much better it would have been if Lot had chosen the Lord’s way in the first place! The choices we make reveal the people that we are. The worldly man, Lot, thought only of himself. The spiritual man, Abraham, concerned himself with doing the Lord’s will. The worldly man takes for himself (11). The spiritual man receives from the Lord (15). Our sin comes from ourselves. Our salvation comes from the Lord. Confess your sin. Receive God’s forgiveness.
Following an account of military conflict, we come to a passage that is full of Christ (18-20). In Melchizedek, we see Jesus. In Hebrews 7:3, we learn that Melchizedek resembles the Son of God. We read on, in verse 4, ‘See how great he is’, and, in our hearts we say, ‘How great is our Lord Jesus Christ’. Melchizedek is ‘the King of Salem (peace)’ (18), pointing to Christ through whom we have ‘peace with God’ (Romans 5:1). Melchizedek brings ‘bread and wine’ (18), pointing to Christ whose body was broken for us and whose blood was shed for us (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Melchizedek spoke of the divine deliverance from enemies (20), pointing to Christ’s victory over Satan (Colossians 2:15). In this episode we see the origins of tithing. It is not a legalistic practice. God had been good to Abraham. In grateful worship, Abraham responded, giving the tenth to Him (20).
God is greater than our circumstances. God had given great promises to Abraham, yet there appeared no sign that His promises were being fulfilled. The circumstances seemed bleak, and Abraham felt despondent. Abraham was full of questions. In verse 2, he asks, ‘What can you give me…?’. This is the question of salvation. What does God give? He gives salvation. In verse 8, he asks, ‘How can I know…?’. This is the question of assurance. We ask for assurance. God gives it – the assurance of salvation, the assurance that salvation has been given and received. Where are we to look for answers to these questions? Are we to look to our circumstances? Are we to look to our feelings? No. We look to the ‘Almighty God’ (2,8). Trusting in Christ, the ‘Passover Lamb…sacrificed for us’, we receive a sure salvation (6:1; 1 Corinthians 5:7; John 20:31; 1 John 5:13).