Monday, April 27, 2015

Genesis 14:16-24 Melchizedek, King of Salem

And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale.

Here we have the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar coming northward to meet up with Abram's victorious entourage. As a reminder, the map below shows the approximate locations of these cities, located south of the Dead Sea, in the valley of Siddium.

They traveled to the Valley of Shaveh, just outside of Jerusalem, to meet with them.

As a side note, Absalam erected a monument, in this valley, during his reign. The historian, Josephus, wrote that it was still there at the time of Y'shua. If this is correct, then the Valley of Shaveh is the Kidron Valley, just the east of modern day Jerusalem. Otherwise, it could be the valley, just to the south of Jersusalem, as seen in the following map.

Abraham & Melchizedek met outside of ancient Jerusalem. This map of ancient Jerusalem depicts a possible meeting place.

I find it very intriguing that the meeting could have been in modern day Kidron Valley, which is directly between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives, where Y'shua ascended into heaven.

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

After the return of Abram, the first king, to meet him, is Melchizedek king of Salem. We already have established that the Spirit of God has gone to great lengths to develop a word picture or model of salvation, within his Word, in order that we can stand back and see his Plan of Salvation, from Beginning to End. This is no different.

Here, out of the blue, we have this king Melchizedek arrive on the scene. If you look at the scriptures, this guy has no beginning or history. He appears here. David writes, concerning the Messiah,  in Psalms 110:4 and is not heard of, again, until Paul writes about him in the book of Hebrews, where he makes the following astonishing claim.

Let's take a quick look at his name. Melchizedek means King of Righteousness. In the this verse, he is King of Salem, which means Peace. He is also the priest of the El Elyon, the most high God. Could he an appearance of the real King of Righteousness, the King of Peace and Priest of the Most High God?

Well, it is known, in the Middle East, that a person of a greater statute gives blessings, while a person of a lessor statute gives tithes. In this verse, we see the King of Righteousness, the King of Peace, the Priest of the Most High God, give blessings to Abram, while Abram gives tithes back to Melchizedek. During this transaction, the lesser would bow or kneel to the greater.

What in the world is going on here? How can Abram, our Patriarch, be involved in having a gentile king give Most High Godly blessings to a Jewish Patriarch, while the same Jewish Patriarch give tithes back to the gentile king, with Abram on his knees. This is unheard of and is very shocking to a Jew. In the Jewish mind, there has to be something else going on here, and in fact, there is.

First of all, Abram would not have submitted himself to any gentile king. He allowed this to occur because he recognized Melchizedek as who he actually was or represented, the Word of God. I believe that this is one of two incidences that Y'shua referred to when he said, "Abraham saw my day and rejoiced in it."  Abram saw the Most High God, that day, when he look into the eyes of Melchizedek, in the same way that the apostles saw God in the eyes of the Messiah, or Moses saw God in the flaming bush.

David wrote, in his Psalm, that the Messiah, would be the same representation, of God, that Melchizedek was that day, in front of Abram. Paul put it all together when he wrote of Melchizedek, in the book of Hebrews. Was Mechizedek an Old Testament appearance of Y'shua? In the flesh, no, but in the Spirit, yes, because God's Spirit is the power behind his son, the Messiah, all the prophets, etc. Paul reveals to us that Melchizedek had no beginning or end, just like Y'shua, that Melchizedek and Abram had bread and wine, pointing to communion or the Lord Supper and Melchizedek was a priest of the most high God, modeling that a future Y'shua would fulfilled the Levitical priest-hood and established a renewed and everlasting covenant.

Finally, I love the last thing Melchizedek says, "And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand." This is a promise that you and I can take to the bank and deposit it for future assurances. Regardless of what happens in our lives, God will ultimately deliver our enemies into our hands.

Now, where Melchizedek, blessed the Most High God for the victory, in the following verse, we have the King of Sodom, try to pay homage to Abram. Notice Abram's response. He is basically saying, "Talk to the hand." :-)

And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich: Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.

Abram makes a proclamation that as for Abram, and his descendants, it is by God that we are made rich, not by this world. Amen!