Apparent Defeat

The enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah. . .. They also took Lot.
GENESIS 14:11-12
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Apparent Defeat
Moses reveals his true reason for presenting such a detailed account of this war [Genesis 14:1-12], namely, in order to impress on us the great miracle that follows, Abraham's glorious victory. This passage is too rich and too lofty for me to be able to explain all its sections as they deserve. The main point and chief content of the lesson is to have you see this: God places His own under the cross; and although He delays their deliverance, nevertheless in the end He gloriously snatches them out of their dangers and makes them victors, but only after they have first been greatly vexed and have been wearied to despair by sundry conflicts. To be aware of this divine procedure with which God rules us is profitable and necessary. Thus we learn to show patience in adversity, to trust in God's goodness, and to hope for salvation, but in prosperity to humble ourselves and give the glory to God. For it is His custom to do both: to bring down to hell and to bring back, to afflict and to comfort, to kill and to make alive. This is the game, with its continual changes, that He plays with His saints. For there is no perfect joy in this life, as there will be in the life to come. Sometimes, like an angry father, He inflicts punishments; sometimes, like an affectionate father, He fosters and comforts His children.
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