Who is Melchizedek?

Who is Melchizedek?  Is there any way we can know for sure?  I think in light of our discussions on the preincarnate Christ, when Jesus appeared to people in the Old Testament, that it would be interesting to talk about Melchizedek (I wish he had a shorter name…can we call him Mel?)  Anyways, in all seriousness, Jesus was compared to Mel in a way.  He is described as the King and Priest in the order of Mechizedek in Hebrews, quoting a prophecy in Psalm 110.  But what do we really know about this king of Salem?  We will look at all the scripture that talks about him beginning with the interaction between Abraham and Melchizedek after his battle to rescue Lot.

Genesis 14:14-24

Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. He divided his forces against them by night, and he and his servants attacked them and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. So he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people.

And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him. Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all. Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself.” But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich’— except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.”

In the scripture where Melchizedek actually appears, he meets with Abraham after he rescues his nephew and those that were captured by the kings that attacked the land that Lot was living in at the time.  He blesses Abram for his faithfulness.  Abram, or Abraham, the father of the Hebrew nation, then gives a tithe to this king, who is also described as “the priest of the God Most High.”  No other person had the dual role of priest and king.  In Israel, the priests were from the tribe of Levi, while a king comes from the tribe of Judah.  But Mel was neither…and both.  Jesus also is both King and Priest, and much more.  He is our God and Savior, Lord of all.

worshipThe author of Hebrews describes Melchizedek as a priest-king, who is “without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God.”  He is the forerunner of Jesus’ priesthood (or is he Jesus Himself?  We do not know for sure).  The author uses the analogy to show that the new covenant no longer requires a priest to be our intercessor, for Jesus is that intercessor.  He is our Priest and King.  Since He is God, He is perfect, and by sacrificing Himself, He is the Lamb without blemish, the perfect sacrifice made once for all who believe.  Through His sacrifice, our sins are forgiven.  We are declared righteous.  There is no longer a need for sacrifice to cleanse us of our sins.  Jesus did that for us.  The only sacrifice needed is that we surrender to Him and become a living sacrifice as Paul says in Romans 12:2.  We serve Him because of this great sacrifice, because He is Lord and Savior, because He redeemed us from condemnation, because we love Him.

Hebrews 7:1-8:2

For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.

Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham; but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better. Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives. Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.

Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law. For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar.

For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. For He testifies: “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.”

For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him: “THE LORD HAS SWORN AND WILL NOT RELENT, ‘YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK’ “), by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.

priestAlso there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.

Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.

So who is Melchizedek?  I don’t know.  Possibly Jesus? Perhaps an angel?  Maybe a man that God put on this earth to bless Abram and through Abraham, bless the world.

The Angel of the Lord…The Lamb of God

Jesus reveals Himself throughout the Bible…even in the Old Testament.  The Old Testament points us to Christ.  Throughout the OT, God shows that we are sinners.  He also shows that He loves us and provides a sacrifice for our sins, a way to eternal life.  He shows us that He desires our heart.  He is a God of mercy and love.  The covenant He made with Abraham goes far beyond His Chosen People, the Israelites.  He will bless all the nations through His Son, who would be the Lamb of sacrifice for us. Continue reading “The Angel of the Lord…The Lamb of God”

Guilt and Forgiveness

In some ways guilt and forgiveness go hand in hand, but in other ways they are completely opposite.  Without guilt there is no need for forgiveness.  Forgiveness is more about the forgiver showing mercy.  We can all receive forgiveness if we just believe and trust in Jesus Christ…and we all need it.  In my last post, we talked about how we should forgive, knowing that we have been forgiven too.  Jesus not only took our sins away, but He also took away our guilt.  Knowing this, we should e able to not only forgive others, but also forgive ourselves. Continue reading “Guilt and Forgiveness”

Ruth 2: Showing Character

The second chapter of Ruth reveals the character of Ruth and of Boaz.  Ruth meets Boaz as she is gleaning wheat in his field during the harvest.  The culture in Israel allows the poor to go to fields and “glean,” or basically pick up the scraps in a field during the harvest.  A landowner is to leave the corners of the field so that the poor can come and collect grain for their family.  Also, anything that the harvesters drop is free for the poor to collect.  What a great welfare system! Continue reading “Ruth 2: Showing Character”

Be a Part of the Mission

Today I am taking a little side trip in my blog about something that God has laid upon my heart.  Over the past few years, I have had the wonderful experience and blessing of spending a week or two on a mission trip to Haiti.  It is such an awesome experience to watch God work in places like this and if you ever have the opportunity or if God speaks to you to go on a mission trip, do not pass it up.  You will not be disappointed.  I know many of you will say, “that’s not really for me.”  I remember saying the same thing.  I was wrong.  God kept tugging on my heart and put this passion and desire in me and I am so thankful He did.  I plan on going again this year in November (perhaps it will be a little cooler!).

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But, perhaps, this is not the direction God is taking you.  You can still be a part in other ways.  First and foremost, pray.  Pray that God speaks to you about what His will is for you.  Pray for the missionaries who sacrifice so much of their lives to go out in the world where others will not to share God’s love, not only but sharing the gospel, but by showing their love toward the people they minister to and helping to meet their needs.  This is a big burden of both time and financially.  The next thing you could do to be a part of a mission is to support those who are called to this field.  If it is not going on a mission trip to support them physically, perhaps you can support them financially.

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If your church supports missions, you can give there.  There are good organizations such as Compassion International or World Vision which you can sponsor a child or others that you can give to or volunteer for, locally or abroad.

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My friends in Haiti are asking for your help.  They have a need for a total of $8500 a month.  Sarah and Yves is a married couple that God has called to bring His love and His gospel to Haiti.  At Living Water Haiti Ministries, they have brought in 16 wonderful children to feed them (3 meals a day which is unheard of in Haiti), provide shelter and medical needs, give them education (including teaching them skills such as music lessons, how to sew and how to grow crops) and teach them the gospel of Jesus Christ.  In addition, they have a schoolhouse built to be able to bring other kids from the community to give them an education as well as sharing the gospel.  They will also feed all of these children every day.    Their goal is to bring in about 100 children and hiring 8 teachers.  They also reach out to other communities, visiting orphanages and neighborhoods, bringing them a meal, playing games, singing songs and teaching the Bible.There are a couple of ways you can help.  You can sponsor a child for $50 a month, you can partner with the ministry by making a one-time or monthly donation.  You can check out their website at https://lwhm.weebly.com

Please watch the short video below:

Living Water Ministry video

So, perhaps this is still part of the series on God’s promises.  God promises to bless you, He promises to work through you and give you gifts, He promises to use your gifts to help others and strengthen the church, for His glory.