Year 2 Day 220
Read - Genesis 14
Message - Scott Woodburn
Abram had done all that he could to avoid conflict with his nephew Lot but sometimes those who want peace have war thrust upon them regardless. Genesis 14 tells of the kings of Jordan who served king Chedorlaomer for twelve years (v4). In the thirteenth year they rebelled against him and in the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer swept down upon the rebels.
His campaign was a success and we are told that he took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, all their provisions and even Abram’s nephew Lot was carried off as one of the spoils of war. It’s interesting to note that by this stage Lot had swapped his tent outside Sodom for life inside the city (v12). We should never underestimate the attraction and pull of sin. As John Owen famously said “be killing sin or it be killing you.”.
Thankfully for Lot, news reached Abram who immediately gathered his 318 trained men and set off after Chedorlaomer (v14). Abram’s pursuit was a success, he defeated and chased his enemies and soon brought back everything that they had carried off (v16).
As Abram returned victorious he was met by two thankful kings. The king of Sodom only wanted his people back and offered all the recaptured goods as Abram’s reward (v21). But while such an offer may have seemed tempting, Abram wanted nothing to do with it. Sodom was already known for its wickedness and so Abram rejected anything from the king of Sodom’s hand. The victory would not be tarnished by the king of Sodom saying “I have made Abram rich” (v23) The victory belonged to God.
The other king couldn’t have been more different. His name was Melchizedek which means “my king is righteous” and he was king of Salem which we will later call Jerusalem. Melchizedek is described as the “priest of God most high” (v18) and so in Melchizedek we see the combination of the roles of priest and king. Melchizedek blessed Abram by declaring “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 in response Abram gave him a tenth (a tithe) of the spoils of war.
What are we to make of Melchizedek? Scripture interprets Scripture. In Hebrews 7 we are told that Melchizedek had no father or mother or genealogy nor beginning of days or end of life (v3). In this way says the Apostle, Melchizedek resembled Christ who would later come in the order of Melchizedek.
Melchizedek was a priest long before the Levitical priesthood and yet Abram gave him with a tithe. In Hebrews 7v7 we are reminded that the inferior is blessed by the superior and so when we consider Abram meeting Melchizedek we come to the conclusion that Abram met a type of Christ who pronounced a blessing upon him. In later years Jesus would come, He was the true Melchizedek, a priest forever who remains over the household and family of God. Jesus is the one who combines the role of priest and king perfectly and Jesus is the true King of righteousness.
As Abram returned from war he refused the wickedness and glory of Sodom and instead, in type and shadow, he caught a glimpse of the Christ. Abram saw what David understood “The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’ The Lord sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours. The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.’" (Psalm 110v1-4)
Q98 What is prayer? Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, for things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies.