So far in the story of Abram, Moses has kept us focused pretty tightly on the intimate family drama: the relationship between God and Abram, between Abram and Sarai, between Abram and Lot. Abram has been moving back and forth throughout Canaan, setting up altars, claiming the land for his God and for himself, and — narratively speaking — the land of Canaan seems empty.
But we know it’s not empty. Two times now Moses has pointed out that there are other people, other nations, living there; he has even given us the names of six local cities. And the last time we saw Abram’s family he was camping in a sacred grove of trees near the city of Hebron in the high mountains, while his nephew Lot was camping on the plains near the city of Sodom. Now, last week Moses hinted to us pretty strongly that Lot was making a mistake, but so far we have not seen Abram or Lot interact at all with the other peoples of Canaan.
Which is odd. Because, right back at the beginning, God had told Abram, “Look, I’m going to bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” So far, Abram has not been much of a blessing to other people. The one time he actually interacted with a foreign nation — the people of Egypt — he only managed to bring plagues on them!
— though, to be fair, the king of Egypt should not have stolen Abram’s wife. Really he brought God’s curse upon himself…
— though, to be even more fair, Abram should not have lied about his wife not being his wife. So really that was at least 50% Abram’s fault…
But anyway, we’re still waiting to see how Abram is going to be a blessing to all peoples on earth.
This week, Moses gives us a preview of coming attractions.
And starts by zooming out and giving us the big political picture. And right away, we discover that Abram is not the first traveller from the far east to arrive in Canaan.
If you recall, Abram started his journey from somewhere in the vicinity of the city of Babel in the land of Shinar. And so far in the story we have seen him as sort of a refugee from the land of Confusion. God has taken him out of that chaotic situation and brought him into the land of Canaan so that he can begin to bring God’s order to the earth.
But now Moses reveals that, actually, the kings of the land of Confusion have beat Abram to the punch. In fact, they had arrived in Canaan more than a decade earlier!
He introduces us to these kings in verse 1. There are four of them: Amraphel, king of Shinar — in other words, the king of Babylon — Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam and Tidal king of Goyim.
And I’m not going to bore you with the details of where these cities are exactly. Moses’ point is that all four of these king are from the far east, where Abram came from.
And apparently, at some point in the past, they had managed to form a coalition strong enough to march westward and conquer the five kings of Canaan, including Bera king of Sodom and Birsha king of Gomorrah. And for 12 years these four eastern kings ruled over these five western kings. Canaan has been colonized by the king of Babylon and his friends.
But it did not last. Strangely, the kings of Canaan did not like being colonized by foreigners — weird, right? — so in the 13th year they rebelled against their colonial overlords.
Now, it is the 14th year since the eastern kings took over. And they have decided that they are not ready to let go of their colonial possessions in the west. So they regather their armies and go to reclaim the land. And over the next few verses Moses gives us a detailed list of the nations and territories they reconquer.
And once again, you don’t need the details of who these people were and where they lived, because Moses’ point is this: these eastern kings are travelling through the land from north to south, claiming it for themselves as they go.
In other words, these four eastern kings do not know it yet, but they are taking land that already belongs to God. God chose Abram to travel through this land from north to south, setting up altars of true worship and true order. Now the City of Babel — the City of Confusion — is using violence to bring false worship and disorder back into God’s land.
And — just to be clear — this is a mistake. If there is one thing we have learned in Genesis so far, it is this: do not touch what belongs to God!
Anyway: the five kings of Canaan finally decide to fight back. They assemble their armies and they march out: five western kings against four eastern kings…and they lose. Again. In fact, the five kings lose so badly that they do not even have time to retreat into their walled cities, they have to run for the hills. And some of them throw themselves into tar pits to hide.
And this leaves their cities undefended. So the four kings of the east march into Sodom and Gomorrah and steal everything: gold, silver, the people — even the food — leaving nothing of value behind. And then they turn around and travel north again with all their plunder, taking the highway back home to the east.
And all of this has profound theological implications for the people of Canaan. Because, in those days, when nations went to war against one another, it was not just considered a war between men, it was also a war between gods. So for the gods of Chaldea and Babylonia — the gods of Iran and Iraq — to project their power hundreds of kilometers away from their home base in the east, and beat the local gods of Canaan on their own ground…basically what this means is that the Canaanites need to find a better set of gods!
Now, at this point, the story gets personal again:  They also carried off Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom.
Hmmmm. Last time we saw Lot he was camping nearby the city of Sodom, but apparently he has now actually moved into the city.
But really, we should not be surprised. Last week Moses hinted to us that Lot is strongly motivated by the desire for wealth and security. That is why he moved to the fertile plains in the first place. And so it makes sense that Lot would continue to move himself closer and closer to the centers of wealth and security, in this case the city of Sodom.
Last week we also saw that, by walking away from his relationship with Abram, Lot was also walking away from his relationship with Abram’s god. Lot deliberately rejected the blessing and protection of Abram’s god, and deliberately placed himself under the blessing and protection of Sodom’s local gods.
Clearly, he gambled on the wrong set of gods.
So what now? Well,  a man who had escaped came and reported this to Abram the Hebrew. Now Abram was living near the great trees of Mamre the Amorite, a brother of Eshkol and Aner, all of whom were allied with Abram.
So for the first time here we find out that Abram has made some local friends. We don’t know how, but somehow Abram has been able to set up an altar to his foreign god in the midst of this ancient and sacred grove of trees — and he has managed to befriend the people who worship the gods of those sacred trees.
So does this mean these people have converted somehow to Abram’s religion? Have these three men, these three brothers, decided to join Abram in worshiping Abram’s god?
Well…we don’t know what their understanding of God was. However, they are “allied with Abram”, and the original Hebrew actually says this even more strongly: these men are in a covenant with Abram.
And the most central lesson Moses is trying to teach us through the life of Abram is this: the only way to have a good relationship with Abram’s god is by having a good relationship with Abram. These three Canaanite men — and the Amorite people they represent — have a good relationship with Abram. Therefore, they also have a good relationship with Abram’s god: they are under the blessing and protection of God.
So are these men converts to Abram’s faith as we understand Christian conversion today? No. But these men are the first example in the bible of what it looks like for people who are not related to Abram to come under the blessing of Abram’s god. And we’ll see exactly what that looks like in a little bit.
In the meantime, however, Abram gets upset at this news. So  when Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan.
Abram is so rich he actually has his own trained military force: 318 men, which in those days was considered the perfect size for a fast-moving strike force.
And they do move fast: Abram sets off in pursuit and catches up to the four eastern kings at the northernmost border of Canaan. He defeats them, breaks their armies, and chases them out of God’s land, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus.
Now, a lot of modern commentators are skeptical about this part: how did Abram beat a coalition of four kings with only 318 men?
Well, first of all, Abram is marching with more than 318 men. The armies of his three friends are with him as well, this is confirmed later when it comes time to divide the plunder. So Abram could have 1200 to 2000 men fighting for him.
Second of all, history is full of confirmed accounts where a much smaller forces beat much larger ones. Especially when the larger army is on the move and taken by surprise, which is what Moses describes here.
But most importantly, Moses is making a theological point: do not touch what belongs to God! He will destroy you. Basically, Abram is unbeatable because he belongs to God, not because he has a great army. That is why Moses does not mention Abram’s extra reinforcements until later in the story: he wants us to focus on the fact that this is God’s war, God’s work.
But…that is not the only point Moses is making here. At this point in the narrative, following this stunning shift in the balance of power, another question is supposed to occur to us: who now owns the land of Canaan?
Abram has been busy dedicating the land to God, point by point. But physically the land belonged to the five western kings. Then the four eastern kings took it from them. But now Abram has defeated the four eastern kings. Sooo…now that Abram has conquered the conquerers of Canaan, doesn’t that mean that Abram is now the conquerer of all Canaan?
The land of Canaan belongs to Abram. He won it, fair and square.
But wait! There is more: he doesn’t just own the land, he also now owns all the property and all the people:  Abram recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.
Abram is now — most definitely — the wealthiest and the most powerful man in Canaan. The four eastern kings have been on an extended rampage throughout the land, gathering up gold and slaves from every place they defeated. Now, Abram owns it all!
And the question on everyone’s mind is this: what kind of king is Abram going to be? What is he going to do with all his new-found power? Is he going to bring God’s order — God’s true worship — to the land? Or is he going to do what every other king does: use his power to serve himself, worship himself?
Let’s find out:
So as Abram marches south, back to his home in the mountains outside the city of Hebron, the defeated king of Sodom crawls out of the tar pit he was hiding in, gathers the bits and pieces of his army and travels north to meet Abram. And they run into each other in a valley about 30 kilometers away from Abram’s home.
But before the king of Sodom can get a delegation together to go negotiate with Abram, a different king’s delegation shows up. It turns out there is a city on the mountain nearby, a city called Salem: the City of Peace, the City of Salaam. And the king of that city, Melchizedek, wants to show his gratitude to Abram for defeating and driving out their colonial overlords from the east. Abram is the saviour of Canaan! and King Melchizedek wants to honour that. So he brings out bread and wine for Abram and for all his men: he feeds Abram’s army, he feeds the thousands of captives that Abram has rescued —
And it turns out Melchizedek is not just a king, he is also priest of God Most High.
And this is a very significant moment, because this is very the first “priest” mentioned in Genesis, in the whole bible. This man — this priest-king — is the first official priest of God ever in history.
And this fact has caused a great deal of indigestion for many Jewish and Christian theologians ever since, because this man Melchizedek is a pagan. He is not descended from Shem, like Abram is; he is descended from Canaan, who was cursed by Noah. And this has some disturbing theological implications, because it suggests that sometimes God actually reveals himself to pagans.
But really this should not be so disturbing, because — after all! — wasn’t Abram still a pagan when God first spoke to him?
God is in the business of revealing himself to pagan people, and sometimes he even does this through mystical experiences like dreams and visions. And the rest of the Old Testament confirms this, several times. The most famous example is Balaam — the guy with the donkey, remember him? — but there are others.
But here is the thing: just because God speaks to someone using a dream or a vision, this does not mean that they are under God’s blessing and protection. Again, Balaam is the most famous example of this: he was a true prophet of God, but he refused to enter into a covenant relationship with God’s people. And so he fell under God’s judgement, even though he was a real prophet!
As we think about these things, it is very important for us to remember Moses’ most central lesson from the life of Abram: the only way to have a good relationship with God is by having a good relationship with Abram. God has revealed himself to this pagan king Melchizedek. And it is possible that God has revealed himself to other pagans on the earth at this time: we just don’t know.
But we do know this: God has decided to make a covenant of blessing with only one man on the earth at this time, and that man is Abram. Melchizedek is a true priest of God Most High, but this does not mean he is under the blessing and protection of God yet — because the only way to enter into the blessing and protection of God is by entering into relationship with Abram, the saviour of Canaan.
And Melchizedek, as the first official priest of God ever in history, proves that he is a true priest of God by recognizing God’s saviour when he shows up. He is serving the saviour of Canaan, who has just rescued the land from 14 years of captivity to foreign powers! He is placing himself, his city, and his people, under the blessing and protection of Abram and Abram’s God, who is also Melchizedek’s God.
And we know that this is what is happening because, at some point during the feast, Melchizedek stands up and blesses Abram.
He says, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.  And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.”
This king has just blessed Abram, which means that now God is going to bless him in return. Melchizedek is now under the blessing and protection of God in a way that he was not before.
But again, wait! There is more: this king, this priest — this prophet — has just given Abram the greatest blessing of his life. He has finally revealed who exactly Abram’s god is!
Abram already knew that his god is greater than the local gods of Chaldea, Babylon, Egypt, and Canaan. But that still left a lot of options: is this the god of the moon? the god of the sun? the god of the sky? Abram didn’t know.
Now he does: this god is the Creator God, the God who rules the moon, the sun, the sky, and everything else!
That is an amazing revelation, and the greatest blessing of Abram’s life. And the reason I say that is because of what we discussed last week: the greatest possible blessing a human being can receive is the privilege of knowing who God is.
Abram now knows who God is. And it is Melchizedek who has given Abram this greatest of all blessings.
And as a result, God gives Melchizedek a great blessing in return: Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
Abram, the conquering king of all Canaan, has just given 10% of everything to the king of Salem, who is also the priest of God Most High. In essence, what Abram is doing is giving away his right to be king, and by giving it away to the priest of God, he is actually giving it away to God. The land of Canaan belonged to God first. Abram won the land and its people fair and square, he could claim it all for himself! — instead he is giving it back to its rightful owner, now that he knows who the rightful owner is: the Creator God Most High.
That is what kind of king Abram is going to be: the kind who gives away his power so that God can bring true order and worship into the land. Melchizedek gave God’s identity to Abram out of gratitude for Abram’s work of deliverance. Now Abram has given generously back to God out of gratitude for God’s work of deliverance.
These men are good kings. These men are the premiere examples of what true kingship looks like.
— and, I’m going to pause here for a brief, but interesting, sidenote: the fact that Abram gave the essence of the kingship of Canaan to the king of Salem turns out to be significant. About 1000 years later, the city of Salem has a different name: it comes to be known as Jeru-Salem. And the city does, in fact, turn out to be the center of God’s true kingship over the land of Canaan.
So anyway — getting back to our story — here we are in the valley of the kings, outside the city of Salem. The first king has just blessed the second king in the name of his God, and the second king has just symbolically given his kingship back to the first king’s God.
Now the third king approaches:  the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.”
Right away we can see that this king is a different kind of king. Melchizedek made no demands on the mighty saviour of Canaan. He knew he owed this saviour everything. So he did not try to negotiate, he did not try to cut a deal, he came out and gave generously to Abram, knowing that everything he owned already belonged to Abram anyway. But the king of Sodom does not even say, “Thank you” to Abram for delivering his land and his people from slavery. Instead, he demands his people. He tries to pay for them…with plunder that already belongs to Abram anyway.
The king of Sodom is trying to negotiate as if he is in the position of power, as if he holds all the cards! as if he is the saviour of Canaan.
 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth,  that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’
The king of Sodom is an old politician. He knows how to play the game, he knows how to manipulate the media.
And Abram knows this. He knows that, if he keeps any of the plunder — which is his right, anyway! — then in the years to come people will forget what actually happened and will end up believing Sodom’s fake news. Abram knows that the king of Sodom is going to be telling everyone that Abram was working for the city of Sodom the whole time, that Abram conquered the four eastern kings because Sodom actually paid him to do it — and therefore Abram was never really the conquering saviour of Canaan, the king of Sodom was.
So Abram basically says, “No, thanks. I am not going to give you the credit for this victory, because I have already given that credit to God Most High. Therefore,
 “I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me—to Aner, Eshkol and Mamre. Let them have their share.”
And so, in the end, Moses’ point is made again: Abram’s three friends are blessed because they blessed Abram by supporting him in this war. If you live in the land of Canaan, and you want to come under the blessing and protection of the Creator God Most High…you had better develop a good relationship with Abram, the saviour of Canaan. He is a good king, who leads captives to freedom and distributes gifts to his people.
Now that was a pretty cool ride through ancient politics!
But what does it mean? What is Moses’ main point in writing all this?
Well, Moses’ main point in all this is to give us a glimpse of how God is going to bless all peoples on earth through Abram.
See, God promised to bless Abram, and to bless those who bless him — and we have seen that happen over the last couple of episodes. God promised to curse those who curse Abram — and we have seen that happen over the last couple of episodes.
But God also promised that that all peoples on earth will be blessed through Abram — and now, finally, we are catching our first shadowy glimpse of what that blessing looks like:
It looks like freedom. It looks like deliverance from captivity. It looks like redemption from slavery.
Way back at the beginning, right after Adam and Eve sinned, God made this incredible promise that one day, one of Eve’s sons would come and crush the head of the serpent, and deliver mankind from slavery. Since then, Moses has given us several glimpses of what that coming Messiah is going to be like.
For instance, through Abel we learned that the Messiah is going to practice true worship — and that he is going to be murdered for it by his own brothers.
Through Enoch, the seventh son from Adam, we learned that the Messiah is going to be a prophet who preaches the judgement of God in the face of overwhelming tyranny and corruption.
Through Noah we learned that the Messiah is going to rebuild the garden of Eden and fill it with his family, saving them from the Day of Judgement.
Now, through Abram, we are learning that the way the Messiah is going to fill his new garden of Eden…is by going to war. The Messiah is going to be a warrior who goes out and triumphs against incredible odds, and wins a kingdom for himself. And in the process of winning that kingdom, he is also going to win citizens for that kingdom: those who had been captured and enslaved by the serpent’s regime. And then he is going to lead those newly freed captives home to his capital city at the center of his kingdom, his garden city of Eden. He is going to distribute gifts to all his people. And then he is going to hand over everything else…to his Father. Everything this Messiah is going to do is going to be dedicated to the glory of the Creator God Most High that Abram just met in this episode.
These are the theological points Moses is trying to make to his readers, the ancient people of Israel. He wants them to understand who their God really is, and what their Messiah is going to look like when he finally arrives.
And why does Moses want his people to know what their Messiah is going to look like?
So that — when he shows up — they can make sure to recognize him and submit to him, just like Melchizedek did.
See, in the time of ancient Israel, the only way to have a good relationship with God was by having a good relationship with Abram, by joining Abram’s family, joining Abram’s people. If you wanted to be saved from the Day of Judgement, you needed to become an Israelite. That is the point Moses has been making to his people: you gotta stay close to Abram if you wanna stay close to God.
But Moses, speaking as a prophet of God, was also always pointing forward to Israel’s final Messiah. Abram was the saviour for all the peoples of Canaan in his time, and there were obvious benefits to being his friend even 1000 year later. But Moses foresaw a day when God would send a Saviour for all the peoples of the world. This Saviour, this Messiah, would be one of Abram’s sons. And as Abram’s son he would inherit all the promises God made to Abram: everyone who blesses this Messiah will be blessed; everyone who curses this Messiah will be cursed; and all the peoples of the earth will be blessed through him.
And the application of such a prophecy is obvious: make sure to build a relationship with this Messiah when he arrives!
Which means that Moses’ central lesson from the life of Abram is not actually focused on Abram. Moses’ real lesson is this: the only way to have a good relationship with God is by having a good relationship with God’s chosen Messiah, God’s conquering king.
And just in case you’re thinking I made this all up, that there is no way Moses was actually using Abram’s story to point forward to God’s Messiah and King…well, this is actually how the ancient people of Israel understood Moses’ point.
And we know this because, about 500 years after Moses wrote this episode, King David wrote a psalm about it, Psalm 110, which begins like this: “The Lord says to my lord: ’Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet…’” And then the psalm goes on to tell a story about these two kings who have a conversation. One king is a priestly, fatherly figure, and the other king is a young warrior, the son of the fatherly king. And the father figure blesses his warrior son and promises him victory, and promises that — as a reward for his victory — the son will be anointed as an eternal priest-king in the order of Melchizedek, the original priest-king.
And then, in another psalm — Psalm 2, which we read today during our Call to Worship and our Promise of Forgiveness — in that psalm David continues the story of this kingly father and his kingly son. In Psalm 2 nations rise up against God’s rule and try to take the earth for themselves, just like the four eastern kings did in this episode. So the Father sends his warrior Son out to crush their rebellion and rescue all the people they have enslaved. And this is the advice King David gives at the end of that psalm: “Therefore, you kings, be wise! Kiss the Son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction!” But, “blessed are all who take refuge in him.”
King David’s central lesson here was an extension of Moses’ lesson: the only way to have a good relationship with God the Kingly Father is by having a good relationship with the Father’s anointed Kingly Son on earth, which was David himself.
But David was not really talking about himself. After he wrote these psalms, the ancient people of Israel recognized that these psalms were actually prophecies about their coming Messiah. They realized that David’s central lesson was not actually focused on himself. David’s real lesson was this: the only way to have a good relationship with God the Kingly Father is by having a good relationship with God’s anointed Kingly Son on earth, who would be a priest forever.
And obviously, if this Messiah is going to live forever, he is going to have to be more than just an ordinary man adopted into sonship, like Abram was, like King David was. The final Messiah is going to have to be — somehow! — actually and literally God’s Son: a divine, supernatural person.
And that is the point that Jesus himself was making when he quoted from Psalm 110 in the New Testament: he was saying, “I am the only begotten Son of God. If you want to have a good relationship with God the Father, you need to have a good relationship with me.”
And all this makes our application today really quite obvious, doesn’t it?
So all that remains for us to do here is take a look at ourselves and figure out what part we would be playing if we had been there during this episode.
So, who are you in this story?
Are like you one of the random people of Canaan, captured and marched away into captivity by powers too great for you? Maybe you have never heard of Abram or Abram’s God before. Maybe you did not even know there is a war going on between God and the primordial serpent. Maybe you are basically collateral damage, caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. But here’s the thing: collateral or not, the damage is real. The slavery is real. And maybe you are beginning to realize that.
If so, here is your hope and your application: ask God the Father to deliver you. Call upon the name of his warrior Son, Jesus, and he will answer. He will deliver you and lead you home to live in his garden city, safe for all eternity.
Who are you in this story?
Are you like Lot, who was once in a relationship with Abram, but walked away and brought God’s curse upon himself? Maybe you were raised in a church and decided it is all nonsense. Maybe you still believe — theoretically, intellectually — but you’ve been dragged away by your own desires and fears, choked by the cares of this world. Maybe God wasn’t giving you what you wanted, so you decided to go get it yourself. And maybe you are beginning to realize that your current state of captivity and unhappiness are actually the consequences of your foolish rebellion — !
If so, there is hope for you as well — and a very stern warning.
Your hope is this: just because you have walked away from any meaningful relationship with Christ, God our Father has not yet given up on you, especially if you have been baptized. God redeems people who have cursed his anointed, just like Abram who went to war to rescue his nephew Lot, who had cursed and disrespected him. That is your hope.
But here is your warning: God our Father has not yet given up on you, especially if you have been baptized. You belong to God. You have stolen yourself from God. God wants you back. Which means that he is going to make sure you continue to reap the miserable consequences of your foolish rebellion until you finally come to your senses and turn around and call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.
If this is you, here is your application: repent quickly. Cry out! and let Jesus lead you back home. No matter how far you have fled, no matter how far you have fallen, he will take you back.
Who are you in this story?
Are you like Abram’s three friends, who were already living in a covenant relationship with God’s saviour even before the crisis hit? — like Melchizedek, who recognized his saviour at once and submitted to him? Maybe you are a strong believer, secure in your faith, secure in Christ. Maybe you are living in faithful fellowship with your brothers and sisters in the Church, which is Christ’s garden-city.
If so, then you already understand very well the hope that we have in Christ. You are already living under the blessing and protection of God, and you know it!
So let’s just skip straight to our application: this is our call to war. Our Saviour, our Captain, is in the business of setting captives free and leading them home. And that is our business also. Now, does this mean that every Christian should be a pastor, a teacher, an evangelist? No. There are many ways to serve in the army, each role, each position essential for the war effort. So without going into all that now, we can borrow Paul’s summary from the New Testament: this means that whatever we do, whether in word or deed, we do all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that in the end we are going to receive the greatest gift of all: the right to see the Creator God Most High face to face.
It is a big world out there, and that can be intimidating. This city of Kuala Lumpur is huge! — and who are we by comparison?
But here’s the thing: our little church here is an outpost of God’s kingdom. We are like one of Abram’s altars, just a small pile of uncut stones in the midst of all these sacred trees, these skyscrapers built in honour of tyrannical, mankind-enslaving gods. The tides of war are washing through these streets even now, military and economic powers far greater than us reaching out and laying claim to people and places, and sometimes we Christians do get caught up in those currents and enslaved.
But the fact that our little church is here, in this city, means that those powers are laying claim to what does not belong to them. And they are not going to get away with it. This is the source of our courage. We are not unbeatable because we have a great army, or great strategies, or great wealth. We are unbeatable because we belong to God.
And that is Good News!