Genesis 14:17-24

Talks for Growing Christians

Abraham and Melchizedek; Abraham Refuses the King of Sodom's Offer

Genesis 14:17-24

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Lesson Number 31

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Melchizedek, the king of Salem, is a picture of Christ who encourages the believer.
  2. The king of Sodom is a picture of the prince of this world who tempts the believer.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s not try to get around tithing.


  1. Who was Melchizedek and why was he so distinct?
  2. How is Melchizedek a picture of Christ?
  3. What is a theophany? How does it relate to this story?
  4. How is the king of Sodom a picture of Satan?
  5. What was Abraham’s response to the king of Sodom?


  1. Melchizedek was the king of Salem (an ancient name for Jerusalem). In Psalm 110 and in Hebrews 7, we learn that he was also a priest. In him, there is both king and priest. He had no genealogy.
  2. Melchizedek was both king and priest. In the same way, our Lord Jesus is both our king and our high priest (Hebrews 6:20). Neither came from a priestly lineage. Melchizedek encouraged Abraham and they communed together in a fellowship meal of bread and wine. The Lord Jesus encourages the believer today and they commune together at the Lord’s Table.
  3. A theophany is the Lord Himself taking on the form of man. Some believe that this happened here in the person of Melchizedek.
  4. The king of Sodom offered Abraham the materialistic things of the world, trying to ensnare him.
  5. Read Abraham’s response to the king of Sodom in Genesis 14:22-23.


  1. Review Abraham’s response to the king of Sodom. How do you respond when you are offered things of the world?
  2. After Abraham experienced sweet fellowship with Melchizedek, he was tempted by the king of Sodom. Remember that you are more vulnerable to Satan’s temptations after a spiritual victory. How can you guard against this vulnerability?


  1. Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe of all he had. Are you at least tithing?

Key Verses

  • “He gave him a tithe of all.” Genesis 14:20

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