After rescuing Lot, Abram is met by Melchizedek, who is both a king and “priest of God Most High” (14:18). The writer to the Hebrews will later place great weight on the literal meanings of both his name and the city he rules: “He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness [i.e. the literal translation of ‘Melchizedek’], and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace” (Hebrews 7:2). The author of Hebrews understands the Melchizedek of Genesis 14 as a real figure, whose two-fold identity (a king who is also a priest) and ministry of blessing Abram (14:19) point us (through Psalm 110:4) toward fulfillment in Jesus Christ, who is Himself the King of Righteousness and High Priest of God Most High.
Melchizedek reaffirms God’s promise to bless Abram (14:19-20), echoing the seminal promises of 12:1-3, and interpreting Lot’s rescue as proof of God’s enduring blessing upon Abram.
The king of Sodom immediately tries to reward Abram, but Abram declines the opportunity, by faith (14:21-24). Although Genesis records a number of Abram’s failures and mistakes, this is one of the episodes where his faith in the Lord is strong and he acts from an accurate vision of the Lord’s faithfulness toward him. Abram stands his ground.
My thoughts move this morning from Genesis 14 to another proposal made by a wicked king to a representative of Abram’s line. This one happened in the wilderness, also during the course of a rescue mission–the Greatest Rescue Mission of all–when the king of the king of Sodom, satan, offered Abram’s greatest son, Jesus Christ, all the glory and kingdoms of the world in exchange for His worship (Matthew 4:1-11). And Jesus, the seed of Abram through whom all the families of the earth will be blessed, held His ground. He did so not as our example, but as our Champion, who prevailed in battle for us to win a war and purchase our rescue.
It’s not just the fact of His triumph that prompts me to celebrate this morning; it’s how He achieved victory and obtained our rescue. For “God Most High” (14:18, 20, 22) made Himself “God Most Low”: from His incarnation to His crucifixion! For sinners like me, and like you. Amazing. Wonderful.
My thanks and praise belong to Him this morning. Blessed be God Most High!