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Who Was Melchizedek?

Melchizedek was king of Salem (Jerusalem) and priest of the God Most High.  He met and blessed Abraham and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything (Genesis 14:18-20).  His name means “king of righteousness” and king of Salem means “king of peace”.  He remains a priest forever without the proper lineage.

Just think how great he must have been for Abraham to give him a tenth of the plunder!  The law requires the descendants of Levi to collect a tenth from the people.  Melchizedek was not a Levite.  One could deduce that Levi collects the tenth through Abraham because Levi (who is Abraham’s descendant) hadn’t been born yet when Melchizedek collected.  Hence we have Levites paying tithes to Melchizedek, making Melchizedek greater than the Levites (or Abraham in this instance since the Levites are through Abraham).  Since the lesser is blessed by the greater, Melchizedek is greater than Abraham.

Perfection could not be attained through the Levites so there was need for a priest in the order of Melchizedek (the mere fact that a priest in the order of Melchizedek shows up should be a clue that there is a need for something better than the Levites).  If the priests change, then so must the law.  The old law was weak and useless for it made nothing perfect and a better hope was introduced by God (Jesus!).

Through an oath Jesus became a priest and the author of a better covenant.  Jesus lives forever so his priesthood is forever; therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him.

Jesus meets our needs as holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens with one sacrifice of himself who has been made perfect forever.

Melchizedek comes and vanishes as quickly. Yet, he leaves an impression that can make all the difference. What impression do you leave with others?

bsf lesson 9 www.atozmomm.com genesis 13-14

Friday Digest: BSF’s Study of Genesis Lesson 9

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN GENESIS 13-14:

  • Your daily choices matter.
  • Put others before you.
  • Only God can meet our deepest needs.
  • Fight for others.
  • God is sufficient.
  • God provides abundance.
  • God always calls us to a cause beyond ourselves.

Take Away: Find your purpose; there, you will find God.

Melchizedek in bible genesis 14 www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 9, Day 5: Genesis 14:17-24

Summary of Genesis 14:17-24:

Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him. The king of Sodom came out to meet him. Then Melchizedek king of Salem (or Jerusalem) and a priest of God brought out bread and wine. He blessed Abram and Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

The king of Sodom asked Abram for his people back that had been carried away by Kedorlaomer but told Abram he could keep the goods.  Abram said he has sworn to God that he will accept nothing from him so that he could not say he had made Abram rich. He will only accept what they have eaten and what the men who accompanied him want.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 9, Day 5: Genesis 14:17-24

14) Well, first off, the king of Salem is a believer in God.  He brought out food and wine and blessed Abram, so Abram gave him a tenth of everything. The king of Sodom came empty-handing, asking for things back.

15) Isaiah 2:3 says that the word of the Lord will go out from Jerusalem (where Melchizedek is from). Isaiah 9:6-7 says

Hebrews 2:17-18: Jesus had to be made like his brothers (flesh and blood) so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God and to be able to make atonement for man’s sins.

Hebrews 4:14-5:10:  Jesus is our great high priest who has gone through the heavens who can sympathize with our weaknesses for he has been tempted in every way just as we are–and remain without sin.  Let us hold firmly to our faith, approach God with confidence so we may receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need.

Every high priest is selected among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for our sins.  He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and going astray and offer sacrifices for our sins.

Priests must be called by God.  Jesus was called to be a High Priest by God in the order of Melchizedek.  Jesus prayed to God and he was heard because of his submission.  He was obedient and made perfect for our eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Hebrews 6:18-7:28:  God swore promises to us by Himself so that we may have hope and encouragement.  This hope anchors our soul and enters the inner sanctuary where Jesus has entered on our behalf.  Jesus is a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.

Hebrews Chapter 7:  This Melchizedek was king of Salem (Jerusalem) and priest of the God Most High.  He met and blessed Abraham and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything.  His name means “king of righteousness” and king of Salem means “king of peace”.  He remains a priest forever without the proper lineage.

Just think how great he must have been for Abraham to give him a tenth of the plunder!  The law requires the descendants of Levi to collect a tenth from the people.  Melchizedek was not a Levite.  One could deduce that Levi collects the tenth through Abraham because Levi (who is Abraham’s descendant) hadn’t been born yet when Melchizedek collected.  Hence we have Levites paying tithes to Melchizedek, making Melchizedek greater than the Levites (or Abraham in this instance since the Levites are through Abraham).  Since the lesser is blessed by the greater, Melchizedek is greater than Abraham.

Perfection could not be attained through the Levites so there was need for a priest in the order of Melchizedek (the mere fact that a priest in the order of Melchizedek shows up should be a clue that there is a need for something better than the Levites).  If the priests change, then so must the law.  The old law was weak and useless for it made nothing perfect and a better hope was introduced by God (Jesus!).

Through an oath Jesus became a priest and the author of a better covenant.  Jesus lives forever so his priesthood is forever; therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him.

Jesus meets our needs as holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens with one sacrifice of himself who has been made perfect forever.

16a) “Creator of heaven and earth and who delivered your enemies into Abram’s hands.”

b) Personal Question. My answer: My former and present pastors. My BSF leader who prays and anyone else who prays for me. I will pray and thank God and do my best to live a Godly-life as called in thanks.

bsf's study of genesis Melchizedek www.atozmomm.com

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 9, Day 5: Genesis 14:17-24

A difficult passage, indeed, with Melchizedek. We spent one whole day on this last go around with BSF’s Study of Genesis, including Psalm 110:

Psalm 110:  The Lord told my Lord (David’s Lord who is Jesus) to sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool.  God will extend Jesus’s scepter and rule in the midst of enemies.  On the day of battle your troops will be arrayed in holy majesty.

The Lord calls Jesus a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.  He will crush kings on the day of his wrath, judge the nations, and heap up the dead.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 9, Day 5: Genesis 14:17-24

This Melchizedek appears out of nowhere like a genie in a bottle. He has no history, and Bible scholars know nothing about him. His name means “king of righteousness.”. We are told he was a priest and a king (which Jesus will be). This was highly unusual in the ancient world. In the future, God will forbid this. In 2 Chronicles 26:16-23, King Uzziah tries to do this, and God strikes him with leprosy.

He did worship the One, True God. Many Bible scholars note the bread and wine as symbolic of the Passover and the Lord’s Supper.

Melchizedek blessed Abram and God.

Psalm 110:4 notes that the priesthood of the Messiah is not from Aaron, but from Melchizedek.

Hebrews 7:3 describes Melchizedek as without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually. This leads Bible Scholars to think he may have been Jesus.

Other Bible Scholars speculate he was Shem, Noah’s son, Job, or an angel. All of this, even the idea of Jesus, is speculation. We’ll find out when we get to heaven.

Abram refuses the plunder because he wants all of the credit of his wealth to go to God. The rest of the kings could divide up the spoils. Abram also uses “God Most High” after our pal, Melchizedek, uses it.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 9, Day 5: Genesis 10

Summary of passage:  Genealogy of Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Noah’s sons).

The sons of Japheth were maritime peoples and spread out with their own language.

Cush was the son of Ham who was the father of Nimrod who grew to be a mighty warrior and hunter on earth.  The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Erech, Akkad, and Calneh in Shinar.  Then Cush went to Assyria to build Ninevah, Rehoboth, Ir, Calah, and Resen.

Later, the Canaanites scattered, pushing out the borders from Sidon to Gaza and Lasha.

Shem’s ancestors lived in the eastern hill country from Mesha to Sephar.

Questions:

10a)  Cush was Nimrod’s father and Nimrod’s grandfather was Ham.  He was a mighty warrior and hunter on earth.  He ruled a kingdom that included Babylon, Erech, Akkad and Calneh.  He then conquered Assyria and established more cities.

Fun fact:  Nimrod’s name means “let us rebel”.

b)  Bad.  “The mighty hunter before the Lord” is not a hunter of animals but of humans.  This is not a compliment.  This is also the first use of the word “kingdom” in the bible, which implies he consolidated the peoples and probably in a ruthless manner.  Ultimately, he relied on his own strength instead of God’s.

11) “because in his time the earth was divided”

12)  Uz and Jobab.  Job came from the region of Uz and Jobab may be the one we know as Job.

13)  Like most lists of names and genealogies in the Bible, it is used to chronicle the line of Jesus and collaborate God’s words to man (who always seems to need evidence).  Also, it explains how the world was re-populated after the flood and who and how founded the nations of the earth.

Conclusions:  Keep in mind the distribution of peoples:  Japheth was the father of the western Europeans, the Medes, and the Greeks.  Ham was the father of Africans (Egypt and Ethiopia) and the far East (including Babylon and Canaan).  Shem was the father of the Persians, the Assyrians, the Hebrews (Abram), and Asia Minor.

Best map I could find on the Internet of the table of nations:  http://www.bible-history.com/maps/2-table-of-nations.html

In general:

Japheth-Europe

Ham-Africa

Shem-Asia

Good map of Fertile Crescent, showing Nimrod’s kingdom:  http://bibleatlas.org/full/nimrod.htm

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 9, Day 4: Genesis 11:1-9 & Acts 2

Summary of passages:  Genesis 11:1-9:  A bit after the world had been repopulated some people moved eastward and settled on the plain of Shinar (Babylonia).  They used bricks and tar to build a city with a tower that reaches to the heavens so that they could make a name for themselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.

The Lord saw what the men were doing.  He confused their language as punishment to prevent more un-Godly actions.  God scattered them over the earth.  Babel sounds like the Hebrew word for confused; hence the name “Tower of Babel.”

Acts 2:

On the day of Pentecost the 120 were all in one place (presumably praying still and waiting for the gift).  A sound like a blowing violent wind came from heaven and filled the house where they were sitting.  They saw tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues through the power of the Holy Spirit.

A lot of people in Jerusalem heard this sound and came together to see what was happening.  They were bewildered because each was speaking in his own language.  They asked, “Aren’t these all Galileans?  How is it we hear them in our own language?  What does this mean?”

Some made fun of them and said they were drunk.

Peter stood up the with the Eleven Apostles and told the confused crowd: we (the 120 and them) are not drunk.  Listen to Joel’s words:  God will pour out His Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, the young men will see visions, old men will dream, the servants will prophesy and have the Spirit as well.  Wonders will appear in the heaven and signs will appear on earth such as blood, fire, and smoke.  The sun will be dark and the moon to blood before the day of the Lord when everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved.

Peter is still speaking to the crowd that has gathered on the day of Pentecost.  “Jesus who performed miracles was handed over to you for God’s pre-ordained purpose.  You killed him by nailing him to a cross.  But God has raised him from the dead.  David himself prophesied Jesus’ resurrection when he said he saw the ‘Holy One’ at the Lord’s right hand and raised him from the dead.”

It’s as if Peter is shouting, “Even though you idiots killed Jesus He is alive!”

Peter says that Jesus now sits at the right hand of God and pours out what we now see and hear.  He has received the promised Holy Spirit.  David did not ascend to heaven (for a detailed explanation of this see my previous post here.  David is in heaven now but not at the time of his death).  God has made Jesus Lord and Christ.

The people asked what should they do and Peter told them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus to be forgiven of your sins and receive the Holy Spirit.  Everyone of you can receive such a gift.  3000 chose to be baptized that day.

These people were considered the first church.  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of the bread, and prayer.  They gave to everyone as needed.  They continued to meet and eat together and praise God.  The Lord grew their numbers daily.

Questions:

7a)  He confused their language.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Just like in Biblical times, God is in control of everything.  He’ll put a leader in power He wants to accomplish His goals.  He gives, He takes, He rescues, He allows Free Will.  Nothing happens without God.

8 )  That person doesn’t approach others in a loving manner.  Anger may rule over conciliation.  Right won’t win out over wrong like in government.

9a)  Speaking different languages can divide or bring together people.  Speaking in a different language but with the heart for God can convert others.  In Shinar, it divided.  In Acts, it converted and brought together.

As long as the heart is in the right place, the words you speak should not matter–especially if God and the Holy Spirit are behind them.  Others will understand.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The heart is what matters, not the words.  If you love others, your actions should speak louder.

Conclusions:  As someone who’s lived in many foreign countries that speak different languages, I know the difficulty it can be to communicate and get what you need to survive.  Yet most often when I encountered a native who realized I couldn’t express myself, I was met with nothing but helpful intentions.

I often hear the phrase “language is a barrier”.  But it’s not.  Because love is stronger.

Throughout history with all the conquerings and movement of people, you will notice an overarching theme:  integration and assimilation.  The native language mixed with the new language.  It changed.  Just look at English.  Over half of our words are Latin origin. Another 1/3 have Greek roots.  The rest is Old English, which is a mix of Anglo-Saxon, Norman French, and the mixture of Celtic, Welsh, and Scottish languages.

Even today, look at the number of foreign words we have adopted from French to Spanish to Italian to Russian.  You’ll find it in Webster’s Dictionary.

Man adapts.

Language can be a divider.  When God wants it to be like in the Tower of Babel.  Or when man chooses to let it be.

But with the right heart and Spirit, it’s a uniter.  Love conquers all.  As does God’s will.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 9, Day 3: Genesis 11:1-9 & Psalm 2

Summary of passages:  Genesis 11:1-9:  A bit after the world had been repopulated some people moved eastward and settled on the plain of Shinar (Babylonia).  They used bricks and tar to build a city with a tower that reaches to the heavens so that they could make a name for themselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.

The Lord saw what the men were doing.  He confused their language as punishment to prevent more un-Godly actions.  God scattered them over the earth.  Babel sounds like the Hebrew word for confused; hence the name “Tower of Babel.”

Psalm 2:  Why do people conspire and plot against the Lord and the Anointed One?  It is all in vain.  Man fights against God who merely laughs.  God rebukes and terrifies them.  David tells other kings to be wise and serve the Lord with fear and joy for God’s anger can flare in a moment.  Blessed are those who take refuge in Him.

Ask God and He will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.  With God you will rule.

Questions:

5a)  Both try to self-aggrandize and put themselves above God.  It is useless to plot and conspire against God and Jesus.  We are nothing in comparison.  Yet man tries through ambition and pride.  And every time he is vanquished, defeated, chastized, rebuked, or punished by God.  You’d think we learn.  But we never do.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We deliberately disobey God and think His laws don’t apply to us.  In the end, we end up suffering because of it.  It teaches me to obey God as much as my sinful nature can.  To submit for He is King.  To recognize my weakness and beg for His mercy.  To follow Him till the end of my days.  This is my prayer.

6a)  Both verses say belief in Jesus and what Jesus did for us.

b)  In the passage, literally through a tower.  Today, through works, prayer, obedience, His word.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Through Jesus.

Be careful not to interpret this as “drawing near to God”.  I think the point of the question is that the only way to God is Jesus and anyway else is false.

Conclusions:  Have you noticed this theme in the questions, comparing people in Biblical times and in our times?  Like I concluded yesterday, man never changes.  His nature is the same.  He sins.  Repeatedly.  Since the Fall–the beginning of time.  This will never change.

It’s why we need Jesus.  God knew this.  He knows we have no hope without Christ.  And that’s what the entire Bible is trying to tell each and every one of us.  And that’s why it’s our job to tell others.  So they can be saved.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 9, Day 2: Genesis 11:1-4

Summary of passage:  A bit after the world had been repopulated some people moved eastward and settled on the plain of Shinar (Babylonia).  They used bricks and tar to build a city with a tower that reaches to the heavens so that they could make a name for themselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.

Questions:

3)  Here’s the best Bible Map I could find on the Internet.  My Bible Atlas has a much better one:

http://bibleatlas.org/regional/shinar.htm

It’s  basically where Babylonia was, which is between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

4a)  Verse 4:  “so that we may make a name for ourselves”

Verse 4:  “and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

Verse 3:  “let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly…they used brick instead of stone and tar for mortar.”

Using these materials would make the tower waterproof, showing the people were afraid of another flood (didn’t believe God’s promise).  So reason:  to protect them against a flood.

b)  God told Noah’s sons to fill the earth.  They did not.  They came together and built a city instead (where a big group of people live).  Furthermore, they admitted they didn’t want to be scattered over the face of the earth (verse 4).  They wanted to live together.

c)  Exodus is the Ten Commandments.  Matthew is where Jesus tells the people the greatest commandment:  to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind and the second which is to love your neighbor as yourself.  Timothy describes people in the Last Days (which in my opinion is people always).

Simple:  they do the opposite of what God says.  They follow self.  They ignore God’s words and commands.  Deliberately and intentionally.

Conclusions:  Question 3 is assuming everyone has a Bible map or access to one or the Internet (not everyone does).  So didn’t like this one.  Makes you feel like you should have a Bible map.  Some Bibles have maps in the back but not all.

In essence, Shinar is an early name for Babylonia, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.  Hopefully, most of us know where this is from Lesson 3, Day 3 when we discussed the possible location of Eden.

I can see the chronological reason for studying these chapters switched but I like the way the Bible links the ends.  Chapter 11 tells of Terah who is Abram’s father which leads nicely into chapter 12 when God calls Abram.  Chapter 9 ends with Noah cursing/blessing his kids and Chapter 10 launches into Shem’s, Ham’s, and Japheth’s descendants.

So while I understand the reasoning for switching the order of study, I don’t feel it was necessary for a better understanding.

End Note:  Interestingly, Babylonia is where the descendants of Shem (the son blessed by Noah) settled (which we learn in Chapter 10–the chapter we skipped).  This ties in well with Question 4c.  Even though these were the blessed ones by Noah and will be the chosen ones that lead to Jesus, they too sinned.  Man never changes, does he?