Daily Thought for: 21st January

MELCHISEDEK, THE KING-PRIEST

Genesis 14. 17-24; Hebrews 5. 1-10; 7. 1-17

There are two verses that God never tires of quoting from Psalm 110, ‘. . . Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool . . . Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek’. Verse 1 is quoted six times in the New Testament and verse 4 is quoted five times. How the Lord delights in His King-Priest! How, too, should we! 

The kings of Israel and Judah could provide no prototype of a king-priest because the Lord had established separation between the ecclesiastical and legislative branches: the kings came through Judah; the priests were from Levi. Obviously this presented a serious problem to those looking for the fulfilment of such prophesies as ‘. . . he shall be a priest upon his throne . . .’, Zech. 6. 13. 

Thus the re-introduction of the Melchizedek priesthood in the Epistle to the Hebrews was a biblical bombshell. The writer tells us that the Melchizedek priesthood is superior to the Aaronic priesthood (at that moment resident in the loins of Abraham) because he received tithes from Abraham. But there is more. Because Melchizedek is not listed in the genealogical tables of Israel, he is seen to be ‘without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually’, Heb. 7. 3. 

One wonders how he came to know ‘the most high God’. And was Adonizedek, leader of the southern alliance against Joshua, in his dynasty? One thing is certain; Melchizedek’s ministry to Abraham was of the highest moment. It illustrates to us the present ministry of Christ to His people. 

The king of Sodom was on his way up through the Red Ascent to offer the weary warrior a deal, a deal that would have neutralized his testimony as dependent on the covenant-keeping God. Melchizedek stepped out of Salem in the nick of time, intercepting Abraham, providing him with ‘bread to strengthen and wine to cheer’. But more, he put the words right into the patriarch’s mouth that he would use to deflect temptation. How like our High Priest who protects, preserves, and prays us home every step of the way, Heb. 7. 25. 

 

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