The parsha we read in the second year of the three year cycle begins with a description of the petty wars fought by Abram’s neighbors. 

When they kidnap his nephew Lot, Abram takes action.  In a daring night sortie, he and his household attack the people who’ve taken Lot, and they free him. 

Although he is a victor in this battle, Abram refuses to take any spoils.  The king of Sedom says to Abram, “take all the spoils and give me your prisoners.  Abram states that he will not take even a sandal strap from the defeated ranks of people.  “Just give the lads what they have consumed” and their share of the loot.

After that, Avram has a vision.  God tells him “Your reward is very great.” Avram replies: What would you give me since I have no sons to inherit?  Don’t worry, says God.  You will have a a son “that goes out from your own body” who will be your heir.

Look toward the heavens and count the stars.  Can you count them?  So shall your lineage be.”

Food for Thought 

Why does Abram refuse the loot to which he is entitled?