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Monday, July 15, 2019

2019.07.15 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 14:17-24

Questions for Littles: Who went out to meet Abram in Genesis 14:17? After what did he go out to meet him? Who interrupts this meeting in Genesis 14:18? Of where (what) is he king (cf. Hebrews 7:2)? What does He bring Abram? What else is He, in addition to a king? What does He do to Abram (Genesis 14:19)? What does He call God? What does He say that God possess? Whom does He bless in Genesis 14:20? For what reason? What does Abram give to Melchizedek? Who finally speaks in Genesis 14:21? What does he offer? What does Abram say he has done in Genesis 14:22? In Genesis 14:23, what does he say that he has determined not to do? Why not? What does he accept to receive in Genesis 14:24, and for whom?    
It would have been understandable for Abram to feel exhausted and more than a little deserving of the plunder of war. He had risked his own men, marching them 110 miles up to Dan, winning the battle and then pursuing another 40 miles to Damascus. But, as he ends up saying in Genesis 14:23, this would put him at risk of having the king of Sodom say, “I have made Abram rich.” So, Abram needs help to make a bold and courageous stand—not only willing to trust the Lord for taking care of him, but even willing to risk offending the five-king-coalition whom he had just liberated.

What does the Lord do for His servant to prepare him to take such a stand and such a risk? God presents Himself to Abram as his Prophet, Priest, and King in the Person of Melchizedek.

Abram needed a Prophet to teach him both theology (Yahweh is God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, Genesis 14:22) and the application of that theology (he who has Yahweh must not indebt himself to the wicked for help or gifts, verse 23).

You can see that he learned these things directly from Melchizedek. It’s Melchizedek that has just taught him that his blessing is from God (Genesis 14:19). That this God is rightly called “God Most High.” That this God is the “Possessor of heaven and earth.”

Abram also needed a Priest to minister to him the reality of his covenant fellowship and favor with God. In Genesis 14:18, Melchizedek brings him bread and wine, but this isn’t just refreshments for understandably famished Abram and his troops. In fact, the refreshments have largely been taken from slaughter among the plunder. He says as much in Genesis 14:24 when he refers to “what the young men have eaten.”

Genesis 14:18 finishes the thought about the bread and wine by explaining that Melchizedek presented it as “the priest of God Most High.” Breaking bread is an indication of the benefits of a covenant—a fellowship in mutual benefit when it is among men, but in this case a picture of how all of Abram’s blessings come from God Most High. And a covenant cup is an indication of the bond of a covenant—that one’s gladness will be the other’s gladness, that one’s strength will be the other’s strength, that one’s health will be the other’s health.

In his role as Priest, Melchizedek acts as a go-between, a Mediator, for God and Abram. He presents to Abram the benefits of the covenant in the bread, and the bond of the covenant in the wine, and pronounces upon Abram the blessing of the covenant. He even receives from Abram, on behalf of God, a tithe that can only belong to God. For, since Abram recognizes in Genesis 14:23 that the plunder rightly belongs to the king of Sodom, humanly speaking, his willingness to give 1/10 of it to Melchizedek implies a recognition that Melchizedek stands in the place of God to Him.

Finally, Abram needed a King. One who could deliver him. One to whom he would submit. And that is exactly what Melchizedek is. His name King of Righteousness, and He is also called King of Peace. This is in stark contrast to the many other kings in this chapter—all of whom are kings of wickedness and of war. Will Bera be Abram’s king? God forbid! God Himself, who delivers Abram’s enemies into his hands, is Abram’s king.

We have already seen that Abram recognized that Melchizedek represented God to him. When we consider Psalm 110 and Hebrews chapters 1, 5, and 6, we realize that Melchizedek is very specifically a pre-incarnation appearance of God the Son, looking forward to when He would become a true Man, the Lord Jesus Christ. Ultimately, this is what Abram needed most of all: to know Christ Himself as his Prophet, Priest, and King.

And that’s what you need too. To know Christ as your Prophet, who teaches you all truth by the Scriptures, and what responses you are to make to that truth. To know Christ as your Priest—the go-between who Mediates for you the benefits, bond, and blessings of being in covenant with God. To know Christ as your King—who both defeats all of your and His enemies, and to Whom you are subject in glad, whole-hearted obedience!
How do you respond to Christ as your Prophet? As your Priest? As your King?
Suggested Songs: ARP110B “The Lord Has Spoken” or TPH280 “Wondrous King, All-Glorious”

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