Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 24 - Tuesday - Tiffany

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Chronicles 7-8; Psalm 119:49-56; Romans 8
Today's scripture focus is Genesis 14

Abram Rescues Lot

14 In the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, these kings made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). And all these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, and the Horites in their hill country of Seir as far as El-paran on the border of the wilderness. Then they turned back and came to En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh) and defeated all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who were dwelling in Hazazon-tamar.
Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out, and they joined battle in the Valley of Siddim with Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar, four kings against five. 10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them, and the rest fled to the hill country. 11 So the enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. 12 They also took Lot, the son of Abram's brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way.
13 Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks[a] of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner. These were allies of Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people.

Abram Blessed by Melchizedek

17 After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley). 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) 19 And he blessed him and said,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
    Possessor[b] of heaven and earth;
20 and blessed be God Most High,
    who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”
And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. 21 And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.” 22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted my hand[c] to the Lord, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ 24 I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me. Let Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre take their share.”

Bob Deffinbaugh has a lot (hehehe) of good things to say about Genesis 14:1-16 here.  My focus when I read this chapter is always Melchizedek. He is just fascinating.
 
Abram defeats these kings, saves everyone, and out of nowhere comes Melchizedek, king of Salem - king of Peace - the priest of God Most High.
And this mysterious king blesses Abram, and Abram gives Melchizedek a tenth of everything.
 
Who on earth is this Melchizedek?!
Hebrews 7 gives us more insight: He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.
 
Following in chapter 7, Jesus is compared to Melchizedek. I have heard arguments that Melchizedek WAS Jesus, just as some speculate that whenever an angel of the Lord appears in the old Testament that it is actually Jesus.
 
Whoever Melchizedek was, he was important. And Abram realized this. He gave away a tenth of his gain from defeating the kings, and would take nothing from the king of Sodom.
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Genesis 15
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: 1 Chronicles 9-10; Psalm 119:57-64; Romans 9

1 comment:

TammyIsBlessed said...

I find Melchizedek fascinating as well!

This entire passage, actually.

Deffinbaugh points out that we can't be sure if Abram's actions are motivated by faith or by honour. But, either way, God protected Abram due to His convenant with him.

I heard someone make the point once that Abraham's men were trained and ready to go. We need to take advantage of times of prosperity and peace to prepare for times of hardship and (spiritual) battle. We need to be ready whenever trouble comes calling - we don't normally get advance warning of a crisis!