Abram's victory over the foreign kings who overran the land of Canaan raised the question of who should get the glory for the victory.
The king of Sodom responded to Abram’s victory by trying to grasp some of the glory for himself. When Abram returned from his victory over the coalition of foreign kings, the king of Sodom, who ruled over one of the cities that had been overrun by the coalition (Genesis 14:8-12), came out to meet Abram. The king offered no word of thanks or congratulations but rather said to Abram, “Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself” (Genesis 14:21). What is striking about this response is that the defeated king of Sodom had no place at the bargaining table, yet in his pride, he attempted to make a deal with Abram that would allow him a share in the glory.
This offer by the king of Sodom was also a play for a stake in the glory of Abram’s future success. Abram clearly understood this subtle manipulation by the king of Sodom, highlighting the king’s pride in his rebuttal, saying, “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’” (Genesis 14:23).
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