Wow! I was blown away at the difference a mere two chapters made in the life of Abram. What a beautiful example of how God takes us as we are and, as we cultivate a relationship with Him, molds us into better people.
In Genesis 12, Abram headed down to Egypt with his wife, Sarai. While there, he decided to lie about being married to Sarai so he would be treated well. And he was treated well...very well, in fact. Genesis 12:16 says Abram "acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, menservants and maidservants, and cattle." He became very wealthy while he was in Egypt.
By the time we get to Genesis 14, however, it seems Abram has had a change of heart. Now, he is no longer someone willing to lie, steal, or cheat in order to get ahead. Rather, he is not even willing to take something that would be rightfully considered his!
When the king of Sodom offered Abram his share of bounty for helping win a war, Abram said, "I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, 'I made Abram rich.'"
According to the custom of the time, Abram was well within his "rights" to have this share of the goods won in the war. But it seems Abram had learned a valuable lesson about wealth and integrity. How does such a change occur within a person? It can only come from associating with God. Only He is capable of changing the human heart.
The wonderful thing is, we don’t have to come to God as "good" people, and we certainly don’t have to come as perfect people! God delights in taking us where we are, as we are, and making something beautiful from what we bring to Him.