Abraham’s nephew Lot was taken captive during a local war. Abraham rescued him and returned to Canaan with all the goods and people he took back from the attackers. A famous meeting took place where Melchizedek, the ruler of Salem and priest of God Most High, welcomed him back and blessed Abraham’s God. Abraham accepted his hospitality and humbly gave him a tenth of the goods.

Then Bera, the ruler or Sodom, wanted to divide up the spoils of war and include Abraham. But Abraham refused to take anything for himself. He said, “I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, for fear you would say, ‘I have made Abram rich’”(Gen 14:23). Abraham had made a promise to God he would not enrich himself through these relationships (Gen 14:22) because he wanted to make sure that God would be one honored for making Abraham prosperous.

Abraham emphatically told Bera, “not a thread or a shoe strap” אִם־מִחוּט וְעַד שְׂרוֹךְ־נַעַל (will I take)”. This type of language may sound strange to modern people, but “a string”, “a rope” or “a sandal strap” are deemed to be worth almost nothing. What Abraham says is, “I will not accept even an item of most insignificant value.”  While this may sound arrogant, in the context of his victory he was expressing humility by saying to the local kings that they alone should exercise their right to the spoils of war.

When John the Baptizer, a priest by birth, met Yeshua (Jesus), he remarked about being not worthy to untie ἱμάντα τοῦ ὑποδήματος “the strap of his sandal” (John 1:27). The verb שָׂרַךְ (sarach) in Hebrew means “to entangle” or “to tie” thus שְׂרוֹךְ (seroch) is a strap. And נַעַל (naal) means a shoe. So שְׂרוֹךְ־נַעַל (seroch-naal) is “a shoe strap”.  John showed his humility by saying that even he as a prophet cannot perform the most menial of tasks associated with Messiah’s shoe strap.



  1. This is very beautiful and I think the picture of humility is extremely important when sharing the gospel. Often times I hear people giving the church, a program, or their prayer 100% credit for salvation by the language they use (I believe, I have faith, I repented, I prayed) How can we express that salvation is not by works, without illustrating His Work.
    • Kat, The world's Christianity, past and present, has inculcated this presumption, "illustrating His Work". His Work is His Sovereignty, His Jurisdiction, not yours. If He chooses to use you as a vessel to demonstrate His Glory, He will do so. Your task is to effectuate and exercise your minute-to-minute, 24-7-365, for the rest of your life, choice to Trusting. Easier said than done. God's Word informs us that He will straighten out the world's Christianity as we approach the End. Take faith, everything is in perfect order, He doesn't need our help, and the Itinerary has already been written.
  2. In today's world one of the most difficult test in Christians who are appointed in public offices and even in high profile jobs in companies, are to refuse bribes packed as sympathy gifts from people who usually will demand sooner or later a favor back. As it is said "There is no fee meal" . The above affirmation is based in my personal experience serving in public offices and watching how other brethren in the same situations ended up in a vicious circle. Proverb 10:22 The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.
    • Salvador, that is an excellent application! You are right. It is hard to go against the flow and work against the system.
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  3. What has come to my mind after reading this is how we forget this in ministry. Unlike John the Baptist, we think we are worthy of our calling so we even mistreat or despise others under our ministries!!! I think Luke 17:10 (So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'”) is a great reminder to us.
    • Yes, humility is a lost idea in our society. But we are called to be different. God leads us to walk a different path.
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  4. I want to thank you for the regular snips that you share although I am not in the position to be able to do a course right now due to time pressure. They are a blessing.
    • Hi Sue. Life is so busy! I hear you. Keep in mind that we designed these courses for people like you with a busy schedule. I hope you'll join us soon!
  5. Abraham and John knew God and His Glory in my country there have been cases of people holding office in the Government that have fallen into the hands morden day King Bera, some are lay preachers and it is really sad. The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.
Proverbs 29:25 To fear God is to love Him completely.
  6. Thank you for this message. Even our Lord showed the deepest humility in coming to this sinful world to seek and save that which was lost. Even more so in going and suffering all that is entailed in His great once for all sacrifice on Calvary to bring salvation to believers. How we should show humility.
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