Sometimes you face your greatest dangers after you have won a battle and we can tend to make decisions based on our effort rather than what would be honoring to God.
When Abraham returned from battle, he was met by two kings: Bera, King of Sodom ("burning"), and Melchizedek, King of Salem ("peace"). Bera offered Abraham all the spoils in return for the people, while Melchizedek gave Abraham bread and wine. Abraham rejected Bera's offer but accepted the bread and wine from Melchizedek and gave him tithes of the spoils. All of this is symbolic and presents some important spiritual truths that you should understand and apply today.
Abraham had to choose between two kings who represented two opposite ways of life. Sodom was a wicked city, and Bera represented the dominion of this world system with its appeal to the flesh. Bera means "gift," suggesting that the world bargains for your allegiance. But Sodom means "burning," so be careful how you choose!. If you bow down to Bera, everything you live for will burn up one day. That's what happened to Lot!
Melchizedek means 'long of righteousness," and Salem means "peace." Hebrews 7 and Psalm 110 both connect Melchizedek with Jesus Christ, the "King of peace" and the "King of righteousness". Like Melchizedek in Abraham's day, Jesus Christ is our King-Priest in heaven, enabling us to enjoy righteousness and peace as we serve Him. Certainly we can see in the bread and wine a reminder of our Lord's death for us on the cross.
When Abraham rejected Bera and accepted Melchizedek, he was making a statement of faith, saying, 'Take the world, but give me Jesus." Lot should have made the same decision, but he chose to return to his life of compromise. Why would it have been wrong for Abraham to take the spoils? After all, didn't he risk his life and the lives of his retainers to defeat the invading kings and rescue the prisoners? Legally, Abraham had every claim to the spoils; but morally, they were out of bounds.
Many things in this world are legal as far as courts are concerned but morally wrong as far as God's people are concerned.
By rejecting Bera's offer Abraham chose to give honor and glory to God and to trust God to be his only provider.
Bible Exposition Commentary