Lot is kidnapped along with the people from his city of Sodom. Their homes are looted as well. Abraham hears about what happened and rescues them, and returns everything that was taken. Abraham meets with the king of Sodom. They are met by a man named Melchizedek.
In chapter 7 of Hebrews, we are told more about Melchizedek: that he came from nowhere, that he had no lineage, no ancestors. His name means king of righteousness. He is the king of Salem, which means king of peace. That is “Salem,” as in Jerusalem. He blesses Abraham and God. God gets the glory for this military victory, giving Abraham’s enemies into his hand. Abraham gives him a tenth of everything. The first tithe.
The king of Sodom offers all of the spoils to Abraham, saying that he can take with him all that they collected on the raid, just returning the people kidnapped. Abraham refuses. He will not allow anyone to take the glory for his wealth and success other than God. He doesn’t want the king of Sodom to claim that he made Abraham rich.
The king of Sodom is there. He hears the blessing, the praises of God. He hears the acknowledgment that his people are saved by the God Most High, but he offers the reward to Abraham. He doesn’t acknowledge what God has done for him.
Another separation has occurred. They were both there at this blessed occasion, where a priest foreshadowing Jesus appears on the scene. One walks away with the blessing. One leaves without it and it will be his destruction.
Did this event show what was in the heart of Sodom? In Ezekiel 16, Sodom is described as proud and uncaring about those in need. The King of Sodom doesn’t give an offering to the priest and acknowledge God’s intervention. He offers a gift to an already wealthy man, maybe thinking there was a benefit in it for him. Sodom’s pride and uncaring heart will lead them into sin and ultimate destruction.