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13th July: Melchizedek

Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, 'Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth'. Genesis 14:18-19 (NIV)

The writer to the Hebrews tells us that this mysterious figure was 'made like unto the Son of God' (Heb 7:3 AV), and that Christ 'is a Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek' (Heb 5:6 AV). He implies that the way Melchizedek helped Abraham is a model of how our Great High Priest would operate with us.

In the incident involving Melchizedek, in Genesis 14, we read that Abraham, having rescued Lot and others, and having recovered all their goods, was about to meet the kind of Sodom, a crass, evil and perverted materialist. This is to be a crucial event -- a confrontation between a pilgrim, seeking the government of God is his life, and a 'prince of this world'. Suddenly, 'out of the blue' Melchizedek interposes himself, and prepares Abraham. How? ... By giving him a set of do's and don'ts relevant to his meeting with Sodom? No! By teaching him about God, 'The most High ... Possessor of heaven and earth'. Abraham could well have protested and demanded advice as to how to cope with his immediate problem -- a crowd of hungry refugees! But Abraham learnt well, and the next day, in answer to Sodom's offer of a 'dirty deal', he repeats what Melchizedek has taught him, and goes on to apply it to his immediate situation (vv 22, 23): 'God is The Most High, and it is to him and not to you, king of Sodom, that I am accountable. Moreover, he is the Possessor of all these things, and therefore I will accept no deal with you: I will put myself under no obligation to you'.

So the Lord would teach us. Answers to our problems seldom come straight from Scripture. Rather a principle is there which has to be worked out in practice under the leading of his Spirit. Let us study and absorb these principles of Scripture, however dry and irrelevant they may seem at the time -- tomorrow they may suddenly become crucially relevant. 'Study' said Darby, 'till your very blood be Bibline!'

Ultimately however, the Truth is a Person, 'I am the Truth' (Jn 14:6). It is not just 'I am truthful and dependable', nor even simply 'I bring you truth you would otherwise not know', but rather 'Learn of Me, My Person, My Nature, My Character -- and then work out the implications day by day, situation by situation.

Thought: Put on the Lord Jesus Christ... the truth is in Jesus. (Rom 13:14, Eph 4:21).

Further reading: Gn 14:16-23.

PCE

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