Monday, June 13 Genesis 14:1-12
“About this time war broke out in the region”
Having settled near Hebron, Abram builds an altar to the Lord and contemplates a quiet life of farming and crossword puzzles… right? No, not exactly. Genesis 14 reminds us that the world is chaotic. War has broken out in the region, and Lot has been swept away with it.
Like Abram, we live in a chaotic world where we constantly find ourselves thrust into the middle of another conflict. Whether global or personal, chaos is a thread that weaves itself throughout our lives. There seems to always be something lurking in the shadows, waiting to ambush the quiet life we had hoped for. Try as we may to avoid it, we often find ourselves in the middle, swept up amidst the fear and confusion of a broken world.
How should we respond? While kings wage war and rely on their political and military strength, we are called to place our trust in the Lord. The truth is this: chaos will always be a part of the broken world we live in. However, the love of the Lord is steadfast, and it secures us in the face of so much that threatens to overcome us. Let us be thankful that the Lord is our rock!
Thank you, Lord, for securing me amidst the chaos of this world. Amen.
Tuesday, June 14 Psalm 72:12-14
“…for their lives are precious to him”
Imagine you are Lot. Having settled in the Jordan River valley, you and your family are thriving. The land is good, and everything is going according to plan. Until it doesn’t. Now a prisoner of a war you didn’t start, you look around and can’t help but think to yourself: Is this it? Is this how my life will end? Your belongings now belong to someone else. You no longer control whether you live or die.
When faced with desperate circumstances, it’s easy to lose sight of God’s promises. For many of us, it is difficult to see beyond our current condition. When our health is failing, we can only think of our frailty. When our family or friends are suffering, we fixate on their struggles. Yet, the Psalmist reminds us that we are precious to the Lord. “He will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them.” While we may believe that we are alone and at the mercy of the world, we are, in fact, firmly rooted in the mercy of a loving Father. He hears our cries and is present to our hardship.
When I cry out, you are there. Thank you, Lord. Amen.
Wednesday, June 15 Genesis 14:13-16
“He brought back his nephew Lot”
I had a childhood friend who was always getting into trouble. When he would skip class or show up late to football practice, he would look to someone else to bail him out. After presenting a convincing case for his absence in Algebra 2, I confronted him: “From now on, you’re on your own!” I was tired of covering for him, and I was angry that he expected me to.
I wonder if Abram felt the same resentment towards Lot? Abram places his own household at risk to rescue Lot, taking all his trained men and leaving his land unguarded. If he was angry, it did not keep him from responding to Lot’s need. Hearing that his nephew was captured, Abram does not hesitate to do what he can to save Lot.
Are we willing to do the same for those who always seem to be in need of rescue? It’s easy to write them off as burdens, as deserving the consequences of their choices. Yet, when faced with the consequences of our sin, God sent his Son to save us out of his great love. He did not hesitate to seek his lost sheep. We ought to show the same wiliness to love others.
Lord, give me a heart to love others in their need without hesitation. Amen.
Thursday, June 16 Psalm 31:14-16
“In your unfailing love, rescue me.”
As noted yesterday, it is easy to look at others and scoff at their constant need for rescue. In doing so, we ignore an uncomfortable truth: we are always in need of rescue. As broken people living in a broken world, our sin is deserving of its natural consequence: death. Choosing for ourselves what is good and evil, we forge our own paths that depart from the one laid before us by the Lord. Following these winding paths, we suddenly find ourselves lost in a wilderness of our own making. Desperate and afraid, we cry out, “Help me!”
Thankfully, our cries have not gone unanswered. In his grace and mercy, the Lord has placed our future in his hands, securing it through the cross of Jesus Christ. To be rescued by the Lord is to be redeemed. Have you thanked him for his redeeming work in your life? Gratitude is the right response to God’s grace, and gratitude is expressed in many ways. Regardless of its form, the message is always the same: “Lord, without you, I am dead. By your grace, I am rescued.”
Thank you, Lord, for rescuing me. Amen.
Friday, June 17 Genesis 14:17-20
“Melchizedek… brought Abram some bread and wine”
To celebrate Abram’s victory over Kedorlaomer and his allies, Melchizedek, brings bread and wine to Abram for a blessing. The message of the blessing is clear: Abram is blessed because God has blessed him. God is the source of all the good bestowed on Abram.
The imagery is striking as it parallels that found in the Lord’s Supper. As we gather at the table, we receive the bread and cup that point to the body and blood of Christ given for us. This gift is the greatest of all, and we receive it from the source of all good gifts, “God Most High”. The consequence of this blessing is the same as for Abram: victory. At the table, we celebrate the victory we have in Christ- victory over sin and death.
In response to God’s blessing, Abram tithes a tenth of the goods he recovered in battle. He responds to God’s grace with active gratitude. As we celebrate our own victory, we are called to tithe our lives back to the One who blesses us.
Lord, I celebrate your victory and give you my life in gratitude. Amen.
Saturday, June 18 Genesis 14:21-24
“Otherwise you might say, ‘I am the one who made Abram rich.’”
Have you ever received credit for something you didn’t do? Watching the media interview the hero who scored the winning goal in the final seconds of the game, it’s easy to forget that there were ten other players on the soccer field. We live in a culture that encourages boasting. Self-idolatry is an American pastime.
It would be easy for Abram to take the credit for the victory as well. But, rather than profit from his sudden fame, he seeks to honor God and deal fairly with the King of Sodom. Why? The answer is found in his response: Abram does not want anyone believing that they or he are the source of his blessing. That honor belongs only to God.
As we look at our own lives, we might be tempted to give ourselves the honor for our accomplishments. Verses 21-24 encourage us to place the honor where it is truly due- at the feet of Jesus the King.
Lord, I give you the glory and honor for the blessings in my life. Amen.