In this episode we examine our own priorities as we look closely at the choices Abraham and Lot make on their way back to Jerusalem. Do we choose to align with Jesus, the “King of Righteousness and King of Peace,” or the temporary kings of this world?
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Transcript: Welcome to 5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer. I’m so glad that you joined us again as we continue our study on the life of Abraham, titled, “Strength for the Journey.” If you were with us in the last episode, you know that Abraham captured lot and brought him back. He rescued Lot and a lot of other people whom some kings had taken captive. And now Abraham is coming back to the Jerusalem area and he is met by a man by the name of Melchizedek. Melchizedek actually is the pre-incarnate manifestation of Jesus. He is King of righteousness. He is King of peace. Those designations belong only to Jesus. And Abraham pays him tribute and recognizes that spiritually this man is way above him.
But there’s another king that shows up and you can read it there for yourself. It is the king of Sodom and we know that his name is Bera because I think it’s in verse two his name appears. And the king of Sodom is there to say, “look, thank you so much Abraham for rescuing the people. You can keep the spoils but give us the people (and among those people of course was Lot) “and then we’ll go back to Sodom.” Abraham, however, is there and insists that he will take nothing of the spoils lest this pagan king say that he made Abraham rich. You say, “Well Pastor Lutzer how does this apply to us?” Very quickly, we always stand between two kings. There’s King Jesus on the one hand and then there’s also the king of the world, in this case, the king of Sodom on the other hand, and we have to make a choice. Abraham chose Melchizedek, Lot chose the king of Sodom. We always stand between two kings. What we have to do is to determine are we going to love the kings of this world, so to speak, or are we going to love Jesus supremely?
You know there was a man by the name of George Beverly Shea. Most of you know him because he became famous as a result of singing at the Great Billy Graham rallies. And one day he was given a tremendous bonus or we could say an offer by a record company and they said, “If you sing for us (this is of course when he was quite young) we will pay you X number of dollars.” His mother put a poem on the piano, because she knew that he liked to play the piano. And he said, sitting there that morning, a melody came to him and he put it into music. Would you like to be blessed? You say “Oh, Pastor Luther I’d love a blessing today.” Well, you do exactly what I did this morning go to Google, type in “George Beverly Shea”, and the song “I’d Rather Have Jesus” and listen to him sing it. I think nobody sings it like he does, and he says it is his testimony. We used to sing that song. We don’t so much anymore and I wrote it out this morning, but I don’t know where that piece of paper is. I’m going to try to quote it because it helps us to understand that as we stand between two kings, it is very important for us to know where our loyalty lies. Remember the song? “I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold. I’d rather be His then have riches untold, I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands. I’d rather be led by his nail pierced hands, than to be the king of a vast domain and yet be held in sins dread sway. I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today.
Is that your decision as we stand between the king of the world and King Jesus? That’s where Abraham stood and we know how he made his decision and we also know how Lot made his decision. So Abraham goes with Melchizedek. Lot goes with the king of Sodom. Now I have to ask the question what made them make those decisions? It all has to do with the human heart. You see Lot’s heart was in Sodom. So he followed his heart and his body ended up in Sodom. That’s where his heart was. Abraham’s heart was with God and so he followed Melchizedek and worshiped him. And that’s exactly what the truth is—you and I need to know that people are not—they do not make their decisions on the basis of rational discussion often times, it is a matter of the heart. Was it not Woody Allen, who said, famously, “the heart wants what it wants”? Augustine, that great theologian and philosopher, in his book, “The City of God” said something very interesting. He said that there are two different loves. There is a love for God to the exclusion of the love of the world, and there is a love of the world to the exclusion of the love for God. My friend, where do our loves lie? Where does our love lie? If you find your heart today called toward God and you don’t love Him get on your knees and ask Him to change your heart so that you might love Him more than the “kings of Sodom”. That’s where we stand and that’s the decision that we have to make. I’ll see you right here. Next time as we continue our study of the life of Abraham, but as for today, my friend, just go with God.