As Genesis 13 ends, Abraham makes his home in the presence of God. But an ominous note is sounded: Lot has made a mistake. He chose to “pitch his tent” among those who were “wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.”
In chapter 14, we are introduced to four kings who, as a coalition, exercised control over a huge area. Kedorlaomer was their leader though his empire was the furthest away (capital some distance east of Babylon). Amraphel was from Babylon. Arioch was from Mari on the Euphrates and Tidal would be from from above Aleppo. Their dominion covered the ancient Near East and included such important cities as Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar. After twelve years of crushing taxes, these cities decided to stop paying, probably figuring their oppressors were too far away to do anything.
The coalition however was not to be trifled with, and after a year’s preparation, they marched against the rebels. City after city, nation after nation, fell in their path and finally, the rebel cities fell too and were carried off into captivity. Also carried off were Lot and his family.
The whole story is there to make two points: First, Abraham, because he stuck with God, was a great man, greater than a coalition of oppressive kings from the East. God had promised to curse those who cursed him, and Abraham, with his personal security force of 318 men, defeated a coalition of power no one else had been able to rout.
Second, is Abraham’s own faithfulness. His dependence was solely on God, and so was his allegiance. He made no treaties with the kings he rescued. He was God’s man – not his own and no one else’s. The promises of God continue to those who, like Abraham, place all their trust and allegiance in the Lord.