As Lot was in Sodom, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. A group of four kings made war against a group of five kings, including the king of Sodom. During this war, the forces of the four kings defeated the five kings and to the victor goes the spoils. They also took Lot and his goods.
When Abram received word of Lot’s capture, he armed three hundred eighteen of his own men and rescued him; his goods and the people and goods of Sodom. Abram refused to take a reward for his efforts because he did not want the king to say, “I have made Abram rich.”
As he was returning, Abram met Melchizedek, king of Salem. Melchizedek was a priest of God and blessed Abram. Abram, in turn gave a tithe to Melchizedek. This was a significant gesture that will be noted many years later by the writer of the New Testament letter to the Hebrews.