Questions for Littles: Who went out to meet Abram in v17? Where did he meet him? Whom had Abram just defeated? What other king came out (v18)? Of what/where was He king? What did He bring out? Of whom was He priest? What did Melchizedek do to Abram in v19? By whom did He declare Abram to be blessed? What did He call God? Of what did He say that God is the Possessor? Whom else did He bless in v20? What did He say that God had done? How does Abram respond to the blessing (end of v20)? What other king now talks to Abram in v21? What does he propose to take from Abram? What does he propose to give Abram? What does Abram call God in v22? Of what does Abram say that God is the Possessor? By whom alone is Abram willing to say that he has been blessed (v23)? What does Abram refuse to take? Whom else does Abram point out that they have a right to a portion (v24)? Finally, what King speaks to Abram in 15:1? What does He tell Abram not to do? Whom does He say will be Abram’s shield? Whom does He say will be Abram’s reward?In the passage for this week’s Old Testament reading, we find what is something of a familiar text because of our time in Hebrews 5-8. Melchizedek appears (with no beginning or end, and no genealogy!) as the Priest of God Most High.
He’s also the King of Salem. He’s also the prophet who teaches Abram to call God, “God Most High,” to identify God as the “Possessor of the heavens and the earth,” and to acknowledge God alone as the One who has blessed him.
Prophet, Priest, and King—it is clear that Melchizedek is a foreshadowing of Christ. But there is something more here. For, these were roles that Abram enjoyed to one extent or another on the earth, as God’s chosen covenant mediator, the one in whom all the families of the earth would be blessed.
But, as Hebrews teaches us, Melchizedek is obviously greater than Abram, being the One who blesses him and receives a tithe from him.
At any rate, Abram learns well from Melchizedek, and it is a very important lesson. For, Abram has just defeated one multi-king alliance in the world war, and he is about to offend the other multi-king alliance from that world war. And, to top it all off, he is going to decline any revenue from what was a very expensive campaign for himself.
But, he follows Melchizedek’s lead and puts his trust in the Lord. What a marvelous affirmation it is, then, when in the very next verse, “After these things, the word of Yahweh came to Abram…”
Who will protect Abram, having offended every major king in the known world? Yahweh says, “I will be your shield.” If God is for us, who can be against us?
What reward will Abram have, having given up his share of the spoil, even though he had expended such cost? Yahweh says, “I will be your exceedingly great reward.” He is the pearl of great price!
In what current situation do you need to remember that God is your shield and reward?Suggested songs: ARP73C “Yet Constantly I Am with You” or HB303 “Be Thou My Vision”