During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.
As we saw in the recent post on Genesis 14:13-14, Abram was prepared to rescue Lot before it was apparent that Lot needed rescuing as Abram had already trained 318 in his household for war and he had already allied himself with a few of his neighbors. Now obviously Abram couldn’t take Lot’s captors head on. They were a force made up of the armies of four kingdoms and Abram had only 318 men plus whatever number his neighbors threw in. Here in Genesis 14:15 we see that Abram chose to attack at night and to divide his forces, implying that he had devised a strategy to help confound the vastly superior forces of Lot’s captors. Yet in verse 20 we see that it was God Most High, who delivered Abram’s enemies into his hand.
So how does this work? How is it that Abram went to all the trouble to plan, train up a fighting force, build an alliance with his neighbors, and develop strategy yet God gets the credit?
Remember, it’s in him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28) Without Him, no matter how hard we train, no matter who we ally ourselves with, no matter how well we plan, we won’t experience God’s best.
It’s a partnership.
Most of us have a tendency to make two mistakes in this area of partnership with God. We either try to do it completely on our own, without God. Or, we think we’re practicing faith by not doing our part and leaving things completely up to God.
In reality, the way this partnership works is that you and God each have your part. Now by comparison, God’s part is immeasurably larger than your part, or my part, but it’s important to remember that we still have our part.
Abram and his allies didn’t just defeat the armies of the four kings but Abram “routed” them as it says in verse 15. Routing the armies of four kings with 318 plus men absolutely could not have happened without God doing His part.
For you and for me, as it was with Abram’s rescue mission, God’s part is huge.
And as it was with Abram’s rescue mission, our part is tiny by comparison, yet it’s oh so important that we do our part.
For as Saint Augustine said,
Without God I can’t but without me God won’t.