Children’s Study – Abraham, Part 3

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Abraham – Part 3

Abraham won a great victory over his enemies

by Victor Torres

Last time we learned more about Abraham, and more importantly, we learned more about our Lord, Jesus Christ. We learned that it was the Lord Himself who appeared to Abraham and to other people in the Old Testament.

The apostle Peter tells us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord.

2Pe 3:18 (ERV) But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Glory be to him, now and forever! Amen.

The apostle Paul left us an example of thinking that all things are worth nothing compared with the greatness of knowing Christ Jesus.

Php 3:8 (KJV) Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Php 3:8 (ERV) Not only these things, but now I think that all things are worth nothing compared with the greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Christ, I lost all these things, and now I know that they are all worthless trash. All I want now is Christ.

But we don’t all start this way. We all start not having any interest in the words of God. Then the time comes that we have some interest, but don’t understand His teachings, so we lose interest again. Then the time also comes when we start to understand His teachings, but because we want to do other things, we study the Bible less and less until we are no longer interested again. There also comes a time that we do understand His teachings, but when our families don’t accept what we understand, we just go along with them and ignore God’s words.

But there are very few in this world that the Lord chose to keep on studying the Bible, to understand His words and like the apostle Paul, “think that all things are worth nothing compared with the greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord”.

Let’s look at one of the stories our Lord told us to show us how we treat God’s words at different stages of our lives:

Mat 13:1 (CEV) That same day Jesus left the house and went out beside Lake Galilee, where he sat down to teach.
Mat 13:2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he had to sit in a boat, while the people stood on the shore.
Mat 13:3 Then he taught them many things by using stories. He said: A farmer went out to scatter seed in a field.
Mat 13:4 While the farmer was scattering the seed, some of it fell along the road and was eaten by birds.
Mat 13:5 Other seeds fell on thin, rocky ground and quickly started growing because the soil wasn’t very deep.
Mat 13:6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched and dried up, because they did not have enough roots.
Mat 13:7 Some other seeds fell where thornbushes grew up and choked the plants.
Mat 13:8 But a few seeds did fall on good ground where the plants produced a hundred or sixty or thirty times as much as was scattered.
Mat 13:9 If you have ears, pay attention!
Mat 13:10 Jesus’ disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you use nothing but stories when you speak to the people?”
Mat 13:11 Jesus answered: I have explained the secrets about the kingdom of heaven to you, but not to others.
Mat 13:12 Everyone who has something will be given more. But people who don’t have anything will lose even what little they have.
Mat 13:13 I use stories when I speak to them because when they look, they cannot see, and when they listen, they cannot hear or understand.
Mat 13:14 So God’s promise came true, just as the prophet Isaiah had said, “These people will listen and listen, but never understand. They will look and look, but never see.
Mat 13:15 All of them have stubborn minds! Their ears are stopped up, and their eyes are covered. They cannot see or hear or understand. If they could, they would turn to me, and I would heal them.”
Mat 13:16 But God has blessed you, because your eyes can see and your ears can hear!
Mat 13:17 Many prophets and good people were eager to see what you see and to hear what you hear. But I tell you that they did not see or hear.
Mat 13:18 Now listen to the meaning of the story about the farmer:
Mat 13:19 The seeds that fell along the road are the people who hear the message about the kingdom, but don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches the message from their hearts.
Mat 13:20 The seeds that fell on rocky ground are the people who gladly hear the message and accept it right away.
Mat 13:21 But they don’t have deep roots, and they don’t last very long. As soon as life gets hard or the message gets them in trouble, they give up.
Mat 13:22 The seeds that fell among the thornbushes are also people who hear the message. But they start worrying about the needs of this life and are fooled by the desire to get rich. So the message gets choked out, and they never produce anything.
Mat 13:23 The seeds that fell on good ground are the people who hear and understand the message. They produce as much as a hundred or sixty or thirty times what was planted.

So that’s how we treat God’s words in different times of our life. Sometimes we are the seeds that fell along the road. We hear God’s words but don’t understand it.

Mat 13:19 (CEV) The seeds that fell along the road are the people who hear the message about the kingdom, but don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches the message from their hearts.

When we don’t understand something in the Bible, we must not be shy or be too proud in asking those who have a more mature understanding. Not everyone has the same gifts or talent. Some were given the gift of teaching:

Rom 12:6 (ERV) We all have different gifts. Each gift came because of the grace God gave us. Whoever has the gift of prophecy should use that gift in a way that fits the kind of faith they have.
Rom 12:7 Whoever has the gift of serving should serve. Whoever has the gift of teaching should teach.

Sometimes we are the seeds that fell on rocky ground. We gladly hear the message and accept it right away, but as soon as life gets hard or the message gets us in trouble, we give up.

Mat 13:20 (CEV) The seeds that fell on rocky ground are the people who gladly hear the message and accept it right away.
Mat 13:21 But they don’t have deep roots, and they don’t last very long. As soon as life gets hard or the message gets them in trouble, they give up.

Yes, kids, the message of God will get you in trouble. The minute you share with others that everyone will be saved, some people will think that you have gone crazy. That’s because that is not what they had been taught all their lives.

The minute you stop celebrating holidays and birthdays, many people will stop talking to you and many will even get angry with you. This is when those who are given the gift to comfort and encourage others are really helpful to those thinking of giving up.

Rom 12:8 (ERV) Whoever has the gift of comforting others should do that. Whoever has the gift of giving to help others should give generously. Whoever has the gift of leading should work hard at it. Whoever has the gift of showing kindness to others should do it gladly.

And sometimes we are the seeds that fell among thorns. We hear and understand some of God’s words, but we start worrying about the needs of this life, and we work so hard to get rich that we lose time to study the Bible and do good to others.

Mat 13:22 (CEV) The seeds that fell among the thornbushes are also people who hear the message. But they start worrying about the needs of this life and are fooled by the desire to get rich. So the message gets choked out, and they never produce anything.

We should all encourage each other not to worry about the needs of this life, but at the same time, we should not let anyone in the body go hungry if we have something to share to them.

Rom 12:8 (ERV) Whoever has the gift of comforting others should do that. Whoever has the gift of giving to help others should give generously. Whoever has the gift of leading should work hard at it. Whoever has the gift of showing kindness to others should do it gladly.

The leaders in the body are also good examples of taking good care of all in the body of Christ to please God and not to make money.

1Pe 5:1 Church leaders, I am writing to encourage you. I too am a leader, as well as a witness to Christ’s suffering, and I will share in his glory when it is shown to us.
1Pe 5:2 Just as shepherds watch over their sheep, you must watch over everyone God has placed in your care. Do it willingly in order to please God, and not simply because you think you must. Let it be something you want to do, instead of something you do merely to make money.

We all start out with immature or childish faith, like those seeds who fell on the road, those who fell on rocky ground and those who fell among thorns. But if we are one of the elect, we will be like the seeds that fell on good ground. We will be looking forward to listen to these Bible studies. We will understand what’s being taught, and we will do what we are being taught.

Mat 13:23 (CEV) The seeds that fell on good ground are the people who hear and understand the message. They produce as much as a hundred or sixty or thirty times what was planted.

Kids, when you grow up and Christ is in you, you will be a good example to kids at that time and they will follow your example. That’s how you produce fruits “as much as a hundred or sixty or thirty times what was planted”.

And when you become mature enough to understand deep things in the Bible (like a seed that dies and grows deep roots), God will give you the desire and ability to teach others. You become not only the seed that fell on good ground, you will become like Jesus Christ, the Farmer Himself:

Mar 4:14 (ESV) The sower sows the word.

Mar 4:14 (ERV) The farmer is like someone who plants God’s teaching in people.

Let’s go back to the story of Abraham. We pick up in Genesis chapter 14 after Abram separated from Lot because they had too many sheep and goats so there was not enough land with grass that the animals could eat. Abram stayed in Canaan while Lot, his nephew, went to Sodom.

Gen 13:12 (ESV) Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom.

I want you to keep that in mind as we go to chapter 14, that the people of Sodom were great sinners against the LORD.

Gen 13:13 (ESV) Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD.

Gen 14:1 (CEV) About this time, King Amraphel of Babylonia, King Arioch of Ellasar, King Chedorlaomer of Elam, and King Tidal of Goiim
Gen 14:2 attacked King Bera of Sodom, King Birsha of Gomorrah, King Shinab of Admah, King Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, also known as the city of Zoar.
Gen 14:3 King Chedorlaomer and his allies had ruled these last five kings for twelve years,
Gen 14:4 but in the thirteenth year the kings rebelled and came together in Siddim Valley, which is now covered by the southern part of the Dead Sea.
Gen 14:5 A year later King Chedorlaomer and his allies attacked and defeated the Rephaites in Ashteroth-Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, and the Emites in Shaveh-Kiriathaim.
Gen 14:6 They also defeated the Horites in the hill country of Edom, as far as El-Paran, near the desert.
Gen 14:7 They went back to the city of Enmishpat, better known as Kadesh. Then they captured all the land that belonged to the Amalekites, and they defeated the Amorites who were living in Hazazon-Tamar.
Gen 14:8 At Siddim Valley, the armies of the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela fought the armies of King Chedorlaomer of Elam, King Tidal of Goiim, King Amraphel of Babylonia, and King Arioch of Ellasar…

Gen 14:10 (MKJV) And the valley of Siddim was full of asphalt pits. And the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain.

Q – Why did they fight the war in Siddim Valley? Does the valley of Siddim have a spiritual meaning?

First, let’s do a quick review of what’s happening here. There were 5 cities, one of which was Sodom where Lot went, the other four were Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Bela. These 5 cities had kings of their own but they were ruled by another king, king Chedorlaomer and his allies (his friends). These 5 kings rebelled against king Chedorlaomer in the 13th year of his rule (the spiritual meaning of the number 13 is rebellion), so king Chedorlaomer and his allies attacked these 5 kings and their armies.

We read in verses 8–10 that they fought in Siddim valley and king Chedorlaomer beat the kings who rebelled against him. We are also told that the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah ran away and fell into asphalt or tar pits (big and deep holes). The others ran away to the mountains.

So what is the spiritual meaning of this valley that is “full of tar pits” where the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fell? Siddim valley is our physical strength and riches that we depend on and we are proud of. This is the place where we join others that think the same way:

Gen 14:3 (CEV) King Chedorlaomer and his allies had ruled these last five kings for twelve years,
Gen 14:3 but in the thirteenth year the kings rebelled and came together in Siddim Valley, which is now covered by the southern part of the Dead Sea.

Siddim valley is a symbol of us when we are the seeds that fell among thorns. We get trapped in these “tar or slime pits”, which are symbols of the worries of this life, the love of money and everything else that we want.

Mar 4:18 (ERV) “Others are like the seed planted among the thorny weeds. They hear the teaching,
Mar 4:19 but their lives become full of other things: the worries of this life, the love of money, and everything else they want. This keeps the teaching from growing, and it does not produce a crop in their lives.

This is what happened to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah after they lost the battle:

Gen 14:11 (CEV) Their enemies took everything of value from Sodom and Gomorrah, including their food supplies.
Gen 14:12 They also captured Abram’s nephew Lot, who lived in Sodom. They took him and his possessions and then left.

Sodom and Gomorrah lost everything including their food supplies. That is what happens to us when we trust in the world and we want the things that the world can offer. We also lose everything, including our spiritual food.

Lot and his family got in trouble, too, because he was living in Sodom. This is what happens to us when we live like the people of this world. We also get in trouble.

Gen 14:13 (CEV) At this time Abram the Hebrew was living near the oaks that belonged to Mamre the Amorite. Mamre and his brothers Eshcol and Aner were Abram’s friends. Someone who had escaped from the battle told Abram
Gen 14:14 that his nephew Lot had been taken away. Three hundred eighteen of Abram’s servants were fighting men, so he took them and followed the enemy as far north as the city of Dan.

Before we continue the story, I want you to notice how bold Abram would have been to do this. He only had 318 men with him and he decided to follow king Chedorlaomer and his friends who had just defeated 5 kings and these other nations:

Gen 14:5 A year later King Chedorlaomer and his allies attacked and defeated the Rephaites in Ashteroth-Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, and the Emites in Shaveh-Kiriathaim.
Gen 14:6 They also defeated the Horites in the hill country of Edom, as far as El-Paran, near the desert.
Gen 14:7 They went back to the city of Enmishpat, better known as Kadesh. Then they captured all the land that belonged to the Amalekites, and they defeated the Amorites who were living in Hazazon-Tamar.

What incredible guts to do this! And this courage can only come from the trust that Abram is starting to put in the promises of God.

Gen 14:15 That night, Abram divided up his troops, attacked from all sides, and won a great victory. But some of the enemy escaped to the town of Hobah north of Damascus,
Gen 14:16 and Abram went after them. He brought back his nephew Lot, together with Lot’s possessions and the women and everyone else who had been captured.

The victory of Abram over this great army is a symbol of our victory over evil spirits if we trust in God and His promises. The war that we fight is a spiritual war and not a physical war.

2Co 10:4 The weapons we use in our fight are not the world’s weapons but God’s powerful weapons, which we use to destroy strongholds. We destroy false arguments;
2Co 10:5 we pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ.

So this is what we destroy with God’s words: false arguments or false teachings. We destroy any proud thought in our minds and make them obey Christ. What we use are spiritual weapons, the gifts that we saw listed in Romans 12 above (the gift of teaching, the gift of encouraging and helping others, the gift of leading others).

Our Lord doesn’t want any of His servants to harm another human being, not even to defend ourselves. This is what He told Peter when Peter tried to defend Him from those who want to arrest Him:

Joh 18:7 Again Jesus asked them, “Who is it you are looking for?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.
Joh 18:8 “I have already told you that I am he,” Jesus said. “If, then, you are looking for me, let these others go.”
Joh 18:9 (He said this so that what he had said might come true: “Father, I have not lost even one of those you gave me.”)
Joh 18:10 Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the High Priest’s slave, cutting off his right ear. The name of the slave was Malchus.
Joh 18:11 Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back in its place! Do you think that I will not drink the cup of suffering which my Father has given me?”

Let’s continue the story of Abraham:

Gen 14:17 Abram returned after he had defeated King Chedorlaomer and the other kings. Then the king of Sodom went to meet Abram in Shaveh Valley, which is also known as King’s Valley.
Gen 14:18 King Melchizedek of Salem was a priest of God Most High. He brought out some bread and wine
Gen 14:19 and said to Abram: “I bless you in the name of God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.
Gen 14:20 All praise belongs to God Most High for helping you defeat your enemies.” Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything.
Gen 14:21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “All I want are my people. You can keep everything else.”
Gen 14:22 Abram answered: The LORD God Most High made the heavens and the earth. And I have promised him
Gen 14:23 that I won’t keep anything of yours, not even a sandal strap or a piece of thread. Then you can never say that you are the one who made me rich.
Gen 14:24 Let my share be the food that my men have eaten. But Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre went with me, so give them their share of what we brought back.

Wow, what a reaction to the offer of the king of Sodom! Just as the Lord doesn’t want us to harm another human being, He also doesn’t want us to receive our rewards from the world.

The true followers of Christ never asks for money for any service that they provide. They always follow these words of our Lord:

Mat 10:8 (KJV) Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Mat 10:8 (CEV) Heal the sick, raise the dead to life, heal people who have leprosy, and force out demons. You received without paying, now give without being paid.

Next week, Lord willing, we will learn more about Melchizedek who blessed Abram and said to him: “I bless you in the name of God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. All praise belongs to God Most High for helping you defeat your enemies.”

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