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The Faith To Say No

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth.
–Psalm 115:1

After Chedorlaomer conquered the Jordan Valley, Abraham conquered Chedorlaomer and recovered the people and the wealth he had taken. On the heels of this victory, Abraham met up with the king of Sodom, one of the kings who had been defeated by Chedorlaomer. Look at Genesis 14:21: “The king of Sodom said to Abram, ‘Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself.’”

The king was saying, “Congratulations on your victory, Abraham. I have a great deal for you. If you will just give those hostages to me, you can keep all the wealth. Then I can go back to my citizens and say, ‘Look what I did! I gained release of our residents.’ Meanwhile, you get to keep all the money. It is a win-win situation. What could be a better deal than that?”

But Abraham said to the king of Sodom in verses 22-23, “I have sworn to the Lord God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, for fear you would say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’”

See, Abraham had one purpose in life: to glorify God. The phrase “glorify God” is one of those church phrases we use all the time without understanding what it really means. That word “glorify” means “to make heavy.” When we talk about glorifying God, it means to put the spotlight on God, to make God look worthy, heavy, substantive, worthy of people’s worship. The Bible says if you are a Christian, the only reason God has left you here on earth instead of taking you up to heaven is so that you might glorify God. We as Christians are still on this earth so that by the way we live and by the things we say, we might cause people to fall down and worship the true God.

That was Abraham’s purpose in life, so this was not a hard decision for him. He said, in essence, “King of Sodom, if I do what you want, that is going to diminish God’s glory. If you go around bragging that you are the one who negotiated the hostage release, then that does not give glory to God. And if you give all this money to me and let me keep it, then people will say, ‘The king of Sodom made Abraham rich,’ rather than ‘Jehovah God made Abraham rich.’” So after giving God a tenth of the wealth, Abraham refused to keep the rest. Talk about faith! Abraham made the decision that would glorify God.


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Battling Believer’s Remorse” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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