GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD
And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine. Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you.” Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.
Genesis 14:18-20 NLT
This is one of the most interesting passages in the entire Old Testament. Out of nowhere comes Melchizedek. In a book full of genealogies and blood lines we know nothing of the family of Melchizedek. In the New Testament we are told, “Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually (Heb 7:2 NASB). In our text Melchizedek is called the “king of Salem and a priest of God Most High.” This is the first person identified as having faith in the same God as Abram. In fact, he appears to be spiritually superior to Abram because it is he who speaks a blessing over Abram and Abram gives a tithe to Melchizedek. Some scholars believe Melchizedek was an Old Testament appearance of the Lord Jesus. There are certainly arguments for this view. Jesus shows up to bless Abram after his victory and Abram recognizes His spiritual superiority by presenting a tithe to Him. Melchizedek was king of Salem. A place that would later become Jerusalem—the city of David. He was also a priest. Both are a type of Jesus—the King of kings and our priest before Father God. The fact that Abram gave a tenth of everything he had to Melchizedek is interesting. Tithing was a part of the law written down by Moses 400 years later than Abram. Yet, Abram gave a tithe before the law. The indication is that tithing was always a part of God’s plan and Moses simply put in writing what was already a practice for those committed to follow God. This should have great implications for us today. If tithing was before the law, then it should also be a practice after the law. We live under grace, but we still should practice tithing—giving to God ten percent of our income. We should also have the humility of Abram. Even after a great victory he was humble before Melchizedek. Often in times of triumphant we get full of ourselves. Often our worst defeats follow our greatest victories. Recently God blessed Cindy and I with an amazing weekend of ministry. I spoke four times in one church and the presence of God was amazing. I was humbled at the response of the people and God’s work in lives. On Monday morning I got up early to spend extra time in personal prayer. I wanted to be sure my heart was right after that amazing weekend. I didn’t want to give any room for pride. Let’s be careful not to fall after great victories. Let’s use those as opportunities to be generous and give God thanks.
Holy Spirit thank you for the truth of God’s Word. Thank you for teaching me and working in my life. Help me be thankful and generous always.
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