“And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to (for) thyself. And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich: Save (except) only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.” Genesis 14:21-24
I have faced things in my life that left me feeling hopeless, and endured times when I did not see a way out of my situation. I remember when I was 33 and felt like I was in control of my life. I was working on staff at our church and leading a Sunday school class that I absolutely loved. My cousin, another cousin and his family, and my aunt and uncle also attended our church and were growing. I felt like things would be like this forever, but I was in for a big surprise.
I showed up at the church for work on Wednesday and everything seemed like any other day until my pastor arrived. He called me into his office and told me he was letting me go. I did not know what to say. I was angry, sad, and confused and was not sure of my next step. I was shocked by the news but knew I needed to find a job as soon as possible. It was my daughter’s birthday the following day but I was in no mood to celebrate. I put on my party hat, but inside I was pretty torn up and it weighed heavily on my mind.
I thought I would be out of work for only a week or two, but after a month I was still unemployed. I went to one job interview that was a complete disaster and things were looking hopeless. I prayed and prayed and I felt God had put a lid on my prayers. I went to the gym one day and ran into someone I used to go to church with. He told me his wife was a store manager at a retail store and there was a lead position open. He gave me her information and I called her right away. Within the week, I had an interview lined up and was offered a job. I thought at the time that I had good luck by running into him at the gym, but God smote me in the heart and reminded me that there was no such thing as luck. It was not my good fortune that had landed me the job, but it was by the hand of almighty God.
I think of these verses and Abram’s response to the king of Sodom when he sought to give him riches. Abram wanted the king of Sodom and the people all around to know that his wealth came from the LORD. James 1:17 states, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning.” We often forget the goodness of the LORD, and we often forget whom our blessing come from. We are not like Abram, but rather tend to pat ourselves on the back or thank others for what God has given us. I struggle with remembering to give credit where credit is due. I am convicted by Abram’s view on God’s goodness, and the testimony he displayed in front of the king of Sodom.
Where are you friend? Do you often forget the goodness of Almighty God? Are you quick to praise man for that which only God could do? Do you trust in the goodness of man over the goodness of God? Are you thankful for the good things God has brought into your life? Are you thankful for the difficult things He has allowed in your life? May we not forget the goodness of our God and may His praise always be on our lips. Psalms 103:1-2 states “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:”
Stay in the fight!