Week 3: Day 1
“And he blessed him and said, ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!’ And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” Genesis 14:19-20
Abram Blessed by Melchizedek
While the raids and alliances described in the first portion of Genesis 14 were a fairly common feature of ancient Near Eastern life, the events retold in Genesis 14 relate to the family of Abram and, therefore, to redemptive history. When the four-king-alliance overtakes the five-king-alliance (that includes Sodom and Gomorrah), Lot, Abram’s nephew, was carried off with the spoils of war. This prompts Abram to pursue the armies in order to recover the captives (his nephew among them) and property.
Upon returning from the victory, Abram is met by the king of Sodom and the king of Salem. This second king is one of the most mysterious characters in all of Scripture. He is called “Melchizedek,” which means “King of Righteousness,” and many believe that Salem is a shortened form of Jerusalem. Melchizedek is mentioned only one other time in the Old Testament and a few times in Hebrews. In the Messianic Psalm 110, David declares “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110:4b). And, the author of the letter to the Hebrews tells us in Hebrews 7 that Jesus himself is a priest, not of the line of Aaron, but of the line of Melchizedek. Jesus has arisen “in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life” (Heb 7:15-16).
Though the person of Melchizedek may leave us with many questions worth exploring, one thing is clear: Abram paid homage to this great priest-king Melchizedek. Let us pay homage and give glory to the greatest prophet-priest-king: Jesus Christ.
Connection with Newer Testament
For the Kids:
Abram knew the difference between a godly man and an immoral leader. While he ultimately helped a wicked nation, he did the right thing by helping Lot’s family, and he knew when to draw the line with the king. Advise your children that we can still show respect to the leaders in our country without supporting or participating in things that go against God.
1. Praise God for the ultimate Priest-King, Jesus, who even now intercedes for us before the Father and will one day rule over all when he returns to fully consummate his kingdom.
2. Pray for your friends, family, and co-workers who do not yet know this great Priest-King. Pray that God would soften their hearts to the gospel message and pray for opportunities and boldness to share with them.