Lot made his choice to separate from Abraham and move his tent close to Sodom, even moving into the city of Sodom. When the four kings came and defeated the five kings of the plain, Lot was also taken captive with all his family and his possessions.
When Abraham heard this, he could have been “spiritual” about it and say, Well, it was his choice – he knew what he was getting into when he moved in that city filled with wicked people! But Abraham prayed to God and quickly made the decision to go and fight for his brother, not counting the weak point of Lot and not taking pleasure in Lot’s suffering and calamity.
Living by faith means that we don’t rebuke others when they fail but rather we pray and we fight for them in order for them to be rescued from the enemy’s captivity and be returned to the enjoyment of the good land. Abraham took all the three hundred and eighteen of his men, born and trained in his house, and he pursued after the victorious kings – until he met them and defeated them!
How could one man together with the men in his household defeat four kings with generals and armies trained for war? How could have Abraham fought and win such a war? This is no longer something that humans can do; it must have been that someone was praying for him and for his fighting, that Lot would be rescued.
It must have been that Melchizedek was praying behind the scenes, being one with God in releasing the brother and defeating the enemy. Right now Christ as the real Melchizedek is interceding for us behind the scenes, and He prays for all the brothers and sisters who are backslidden, fallen in the world and in sin.
As the called ones of God our job is not to condemn the brothers or criticize them but pray for them one with the Lord and minister life to them, seeking to turn them from their sin and bring them further in their enjoyment of Christ and the church as the good land.
As Abraham did for Lot, we need to Fight for the Brother by Praying for Him to Give Him Life
Lot clearly made a mistake by separating himself from his uncle Abraham and moving his tent as far as Sodom (Gen. 13:5-12), knowing that the people in Sodom were wicked and sinful toward Jehovah (v. 13). But “he had his own reasons”, seeing that outwardly the land around Sodom was rich; eventually, Lot moved into Sodom, lived there, and settled there.
However, under God’s sovereignty, the city of Sodom was conquered and Lot was taken captive together with the rest of the people there (see Gen. 14:12). Also in God’s sovereignty, one man escaped from the battle and came to tell Abraham the Hebrew what happened.
What did Abraham do when he heard the news? Instead of pointing out the mistake Lot did and taking pleasure in what the outcome was, Abraham prayed and made the decision to go and rescue him (Gen. 14:14).
Abraham didn’t say, “I told him that this would happen. I told him not to go. What was he thinking when he went to Sodom with all the wicked people there. Now God is sovereign and his suffering comes from God – it is God’s governmental judgement. God will take care of him…” – NO!
Abraham didn’t take pleasure in Lot’s suffering and calamity but rather prayed and made a strong decision to go and rescue him! As far as Abraham was concerned, it was a shame for him to see that his brother had been captured.
When we see a brother falling in sin and or living in the world, we should not point the finger and give the verdict of “I told you so – you shouldn’t have done this or that!”, but rather pray for him, asking the Lord, and minister life to him (1 John 5:16).
In the Lord’s eyes all the brothers and sisters are precious, and He desires to loosen the bonds of wickedness, undo the bands of yoke, let the oppressed go free, give bread to the hungry, bring the poor wanderers home, cover the naked ones, and not hide from those who fall or sin (see Isa. 58:6-7).
In love and with much prayer, we need to cover the brothers, pray for them, and cooperate with the Lord to rescue them from the enemy’s oppression and captivity (see Prov. 10:12).
Cooperating with the Interceding Lord to Rescue the Brother
We may love the Lord now and we may be enjoying Him at this moment in time, but who knows what will happen in one day, one month, or one year? Our going on with the Lord is not of us: it is not because we love the Lord so much that we can go on with Him.
Christ is right now interceding for us before the Father, and He as the Spirit is groaning for our going on (Rom. 8:26). Also, there are some brothers and sisters who have seen this secret and they cooperate with the Lord to pray for us, and because of their prayer in oneness with the Lord, we can advance a little in faith every day.
In Lot’s case it wasn’t Abraham’s strength, zeal, or skill that saved him, neither was it the warring skills that Abraham and his men had that won the battle. Most likely all throughout this time Melchizedek was interceding for Lot, for Abraham, and for Lot’s rescue.
Admittedly, the Bible doesn’t say this explicitly, but what we see is that, after Abraham won the battle and returned victoriously, Melchizedek met him with bread and wine (see Gen. 14:18-20), as if he knew that he won the victory since he was praying for him.
Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”, and he is the king of Salem (meaning “peace”); this one is a priest of the Most High, and he blessed Abraham after the battle has been won. Abraham gained the victory by trusting in God – he didn’t trust in anything outward but in God the Most High, the Possessor of the heavens and the earth.
He couldn’t bear to see his brother being captured and he didn’t care for the number of soldiers that took him away. He prayed, was one with the Lord, and went to rescue his brother, and he was victorious because there was an intercession going on behind the scenes.
When a brother is sinning or is backslidden into the world, it is a shame to us to sit and do nothing; we should cooperate with the Lord in prayer to release that brother and ask to give life to him. We trust not in ourselves, in our capacity to shepherd or speak, but in the Lord, the Most High, the great Land-Lord and Heaven-Lord.
As sons of the Most High, we can pray one with the Lord to cooperate with Him in His intercession for the brother (Rom. 8:26-29, 34), and we will win the victory because of Him!
Thank You, Lord, for Your continual intercession for us. Only You know where we are and what we need, and You pray for us according to God. Lord, may we not despise or criticize the brother when he falls in sin or is in the world. May we be those who ask and give life to him. Infuse us with Your love to love the brothers and pray for them. Lord, we want to cooperate with You by praying for the brother to be rescued from Satan’s captivity and be restored to the full enjoyment of the good land! We want to cooperate with You to pray for the brothers. May we NOT look at their faults or failures but ASK and give LIFE to them!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, bro. Ed Marks’ sharing in the message for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Genesis (pp. 579-582), as quoted in, the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Genesis (2), week 5 / msg 5, Enjoying Christ in His Heavenly Ministry by Fighting for the Brother (you can buy this morning revival book here).
- Further reading: recommending lesson 8 in Truth Lessons, Level One, vol. 1 (by Witness Lee).
- Hymns on this topic:
# He ever lives above / For me to intercede, / His all-redeeming love, / His precious blood to plead. / His blood was shed for all our race, / And sprinkles now the throne of grace. (Hymns #300)
# Every day, may I rest, knowing that each bequest, / Matches my daily need exactly; / Jesus Christ intercedes for me, / A member of His body. (New song on Christ interceding for us)
# Built up in love together, / Not one would criticize; / To perfect one another, / We all would exercise. / Each one from self delivered, / The natural life forsakes; / In grace each trained in spirit / The Body-life partakes. (Hymns #867 by W. Lee)
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