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Leaders & Tyrants

Genesis 14:14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued as far as Dan.

Chederlaomer was a conqueror. He raided through Mesopotamia and up and down the King’s Highway, plundering, taxing, and enslaving subdued peoples. Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela were vassal states of King Ched for twelve years. Not having seen him again in all that time, they understandably quit sending tribute in the thirteenth year. In the next warm season, Ched and his allies came to collect, wreaking havoc along the way. They sacked the five cities, taking slaves along with everything else of value. Lot, Abram’s nephew, was among the captives.

When Abram heard about it, he and a band of his own servants attacked the allied kings’ encampment in the night and routed them. He rescued Lot and returned the freed captives and the stolen goods to their cities.

The two men make an interesting comparison.

Chederlaomer Abram
Made covenants of war Made covenants of peace
Gained his wealth through plunder and slavery Gained his wealth through ranching, trade, and gifts
Taxed and abused his servants Trained and armed his servants

Chederlaomer was a tyrant. He ruled and extracted tribute by threat of violence. His servants obeyed him only so long as they feared him. As soon as they thought they were strong enough to resist, they rebelled.

Abram, on the other hand, was a leader. He governed his house with wisdom and generosity. He trusted his servants with military weapons, and he ensured that they were competent in their use. His servants accepted and trusted his leadership so deeply that they would willingly attack a much larger, more experienced military force with no promise of reward except the gratitude of their master.

Whom would you rather serve? Would you follow our President into battle against a massively superior force just because he said to? Does the “leader” you have chosen even trust you with the weapons you would need to carry on the fight?

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