I can honestly write that I spend a few hours each morning reading my Bible. I’ve always been drawn to the words that were written so very long ago. When I was a child, and would enter a friend’s home, my heart would be drawn to the direction in which their Bible was placed. I always wondered what secrets lied within the cover. When I was in Junior High my mother placed a Bible near her bed. We were not allowed to touch the book, so that actually made my heart that much more inquisitive, so each night when my parents fell asleep I would crawl into their room, and then crawl back to mine… I would grab my flashlight, and then with my heart pounding I would quietly open it and read. To this day there is still an element of excitement each time I open my Bible. What new treasure will I find today?
This morning I happened to think of Abram (before he was Abraham) and the mysterious man in the Bible named Melchizedek. Melchizedek appeared one day to Abram, and was never heard from again— or was he?
Here is the story…
1 At the time when Amraphel was king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam and Tidal king of Goyim, 2 these kings went to war against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboyim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). 3 All these latter kings joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Dead Sea Valley). 4 For twelve years they had been subject to Kedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
5 In the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him went out and defeated the Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim 6 and the Horites in the hill country of Seir, as far as El Paran near the desert. 7 Then they turned back and went to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and they conquered the whole territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who were living in Hazezon Tamar.
8 Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboyim and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) marched out and drew up their battle lines in the Valley of Siddim 9 against Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goyim, Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar—four kings against five. 10Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits, and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some of the men fell into them and the rest fled to the hills. 11 The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food; then they went away. 12 They also carried off Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom.
13 A man who had escaped came and reported this to Abram the Hebrew. Now Abram was living near the great trees of Mamre the Amorite, a brother of Eshkol and Aner, all of whom were allied with Abram. 14When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.
17 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And praise be to God Most High,
who delivered your enemies into your hand.”
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.”
22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me—to Aner, Eshkol and Mamre. Let them have their share.” Genesis 14: 1-24
This story is one of my favorite mysteries of the Bible.
The name Melchizedek means: King of righteousness, and king of Salem means “king of peace.” Melchizedek, brought Abram bread and wine, and then blesses Abram and reminds him that God is the one who helped him conquer his enemies. Abram then gives him a tenth of all the goods he had recovered, but then Melchizedek only asks that Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.”
After this chapter Melchizedek was never heard from again. There are many more clues within this story of who this man actually was, but what I love most about this story was during the days of Abram there was no Bible for Abram to read, so because Abram was walking by faith and demonstrating his faith through his actions (but was also seeking God’s approval and assurance that he was doing the will of God) the mystery man showed up and confirmed that God was pleased.
How would Melchizedek know that Abram’s heart needed confirmation?
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:6-7
And the question is still asked today? Who is Jesus?
ONWARD BY FAITH!