But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand in an oath to Yahweh, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, that I will not take a thread or sandal strap or anything that belongs to you, so you can never say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ Genesis 14:22-23
Many of the public servants have accumulated wealth for themselves through dubious means, through corrupt sources, through dishonesty, through injustice. Zacchaeus was rich and had wealth which may have been associated with his work as a public servant – tax collector. Like him, many have obtained their wealth through dubious means through corruption. They have place dependence on wealth. I recently watched a program on TV where rich girls were brought together to receive basic training on how they could live independent of their money, and what their money does for them. It is amazing to see how deeply dependent on their wealth they had become. They could not do anything even what we consider to be basics of life on their own; carrying their own suitcase, washing their own clothes, doing their own makeup, and more in all aspects of life. It was also interesting to note that they were filled with pride, arrogance, and ego. Could we say this is ideal? No not at all! Life is much more that silver and gold.
Abraham recognized the source of his riches and could not mistake that nor confuse others on the source of his riches lest they miss out to recognize the God of Abraham. Abraham was turning their direction to the living God the maker of earth and the universe, had he accepted their offer his testimony about his wonderful gracious God would be of no meaning. On the other hand that wealth would not be of a blessed to Abraham since it did not come from his God. Prophet Samuel reminded Israel that, “The Lord brings poverty and gives wealth; He humbles and He exalts.” 1 Samuel 2:7 David also recognized God as the giver of all things, in his prayer he said “Riches and honor come from You, and You are the ruler of everything. Power and might are in Your hand, and it is in Your hand to make great and to give strength to all.” 1 Chronicles 29:12
It is easy to see Abraham’s intention through his words, he picked the opportunity to testify of his God. He said, “I have raised my hand in an oath to Yahweh, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth..” He could not simply say an oath to God there are many gods but his God is not compared to any. He was truly wealth, because he worshipped God who owns all that we may consider to be wealth and even much more than we know. We are learning through his experience to be deliberate in making our God known to others in a slightest opportunity; secondly, we should not get lured with the goodies of this world, they of no value to us. He made this statement after rescuing Lot, which revealed his caring nature, he was a good man. This is what God considers a true wealth. No wonder, the counsels of Paul in 1 Timothy 6:17-18, “Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, willing to share.”
By A. Eliamani