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Have you lifted your hand in service to the Lord?

Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. Genesis 14:18

Who was this guy called Melchizedek, priest of God Most High? The one who set wine and bread before Abram and the king of Sodom. He also blessed Abram and made sure he realized that his victory had come from God. “And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand,” Genesis14:20. This priest not only blesses Abram, he also blesses God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth. Isn’t it strange that he didn’t say Maker of heaven and earth?

When I read about this priest who set wine and bread before Abram and the king of Sodom, I immediately thought of Psalm 23. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”

Then in verse 19, he actually bestows the blessing of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth on Abram. Who is this guy that he has the authority to freely give certain individuals God’s blessing? He seems to be presenting the Eternal God as the Gracious Sovereign of the universe. In Psalm 50:12 God says, “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine and all its fullness.”

God had plans of being gracious to Abram by giving him flocks and herds. He was going to bless him with a son through Sarah; and his descendants would be as the stars of heaven. David would be exalted and rule the nation of Israel as king. Eventually, it would be through the seed of Abraham and David that the Redeemer would come.

When Abram was 99, God made a covenant with him and changed his name to Abraham, “for I have made you a father of many nations,” Genesis 17:5. He also promised Abraham the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession. Being a man of faith, Abraham was obedient to the covenant. Genesis 17:26-27 says, “That same day Abraham was circumcised, and his son Ishmael; and all the men of his house.”

Then in Genesis 14:20, Melchizedek says, “blessed be God Most High, Who delivered your enemies into your hand.” This priest did not want him (Abram) to think that he had, (through the power of his own household), defeated several kings. He makes it clear that God “delivered your enemies into your hands.”

Melchizedek wanted to make sure that the Eternal God got the credit for what was accomplished.” Several hundred years later, God was still directing Abraham’s descendants and blessing them. In I Samuel 23:4, “David inquired of the Lord, shall I go and attack these Philistines, and save Keilah?” This was only one of many times when God blessed David and directed him.

In Genesis 14:20 it also says, “And he (Abram) gave him a tithe of all.” What was it about this priest that caused Abram to respect and revere him? Melchizedek was a priest who put God’s message and work first. He faithfully and accurately represented the Eternal God who sent him. It wasn’t the message of Melchizedek; it was God’s message given by His servant.

In verse 22, Abram responds to the king of Sodom with the same title for God that Melchizedek used. “I have lifted my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth.” As I bring this article to an end, I have one question. Have you humbled yourself like Abram, and lifted your hand in service to the Lord Most High? He can certainly supply all you need to serve Him. He is the Gracious Sovereign of the universe.

Comments or questions, contact me at: thoughtsonword@gmail.com

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Lyndon Stimeling, of Richfield, has been writing about faith and family for many years. He has self-published three books, “Common Thoughts on The Word” in 2016 and “Eye of a Needle” in 2017 and “Common Thoughts on The Word II” in 2019. He has also had articles published in The Coming Home Journal and local newspapers and has written a children’s book.

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