THURSDAY, AUGUST 3
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 14
Here’s an interesting little piece of trivia. This chapter includes the first war that is recorded in the Bible. The story turns from trivia to personal in verse 12. The invading kings capture Lot, all his folks, and all of his stuff.
It was at that point that Abram became involved. His involvement turned the war and the five kings from the valley of the Jordan won. Included in that victory was the release of Lot, all of his folks, and all of his stuff. Lot, it seems, went right back to his home in Sodom. We really don’t learn lessons very quickly or very well.
It is after the battle, that we encounter a most unusual story. On his way home, Abram is met by two kings: Bera, the King of Sodom; and, Melchizedek, the King of Salem. Bera wanted to make a deal for the “persons” that Abram had. Melchizedek offered a meal.
Most folks who study this kind of thing think that Melchizedek is a Christophany. A Christophany is a pre-Bethlehem appearance of Jesus. A Christophany is Jesus taking on the form of a man and coming to the earth not yet as the Savior of the World but as the second person of the Trinity. So, why would people think that?
First, Melchizedek literally means King of Righteousness. King of Salem literally means King of Peace. Salem could either be a shortened version of the Hebrew word “Shalom” or it could be a shortened version of the word Jerusalem. Of course, it could actually be both.
Second, Melchizedek offers a meal of bread and wine which could prefigure the Lord’s Supper. Third, Melchizedek speaks a blessing from God Most High over Abram. And, fourth, in Hebrews 7 we read where Melchizedek had neither father nor mother and had neither a beginning of days nor an end of life.
I am quite convinced that all the evidence points directly at the fact that Melchizedek is none other than Jesus who came in the form of a man to communicate for God and connect with people of faith.
Abram’s initial response to this was to tithe to Melchizedek.
As you think about the timeline of this chapter, there is a most interesting thing to think about. If Melchizedek is Jesus (again I am convinced that He is), He didn’t show up until after the battle is over. From our perspective, I think we would want Jesus to show up before the battle, give us battle plans, give us promises of victory, and give us courage to go fight. There are certainly times that that is exactly the way Jesus operates.
But not this time. In fact, Jesus didn’t show up until after the battle. Get this. He didn’t show up until after the victory.
Here’s what I want you to think about. We can make a really good case that we should only fight the battles Jesus says we should fight. We can also make a really good case that we should only fight those battles the way Jesus says we should fight.
But there are times that we need Jesus to touch down in the midst of our victory. Dealing with victory can derail us as quickly as defeat can. Victory often brings its own set of temptations that we are less than prepared for. We really do need Jesus in our victories.