B I B L E
S T U D Y
WHO WAS MELCHIZEDEK?
Considering God's overall plan for the earth and people, we can find some of the basic principles by which God will complete His plan. In order for humans to participate in God's plan they must be in touch with God. Recognizing Him, they must allow God to "work" through them.
This connection is implemented through faithing. One of the clearest ways to faithe is Communion. It is an action, based on something God, through Christ, has said. It is taken in spite of negative circumstances; i.e. our utter imperfection and physical ill health. It is one of the things that Jesus "commands" us to do.
How will God accomplish His goal using people? The people are to work with each other to disseminate what God has said concerning the goal. A chosen few will head up this movement, with the rest following behind, adding their own contribution to the movement.
So, we have three unsurpassed basic principles of the walk with God. God is real, salvation and giving. Recognition of God's sovereignty, faithing and supporting the dissemination of God's word.
Faithing, the second principle, is defined as a trusting act, defying negative circumstances, based on something God has said concerning the present situation that suggests a decision/solution. This is the basis of salvation. "We're saved by faith."
The third principle is supporting the dissemination of the Word. The Bible is very clear and repetitious when it says, pay the teacher.
I can think of no more important principles in the Walk with God than faithing and supporting the teacher of God's word. NONE.
I believe that God set the precedent for both of these principles in the story of Abram's meeting with Melchizedek in Genesis 14. We must recognize that Melchizedek wasn't his name, it was his title. His other title was King of Salem.
A question arises. Why did God choose Abram? What was so special about him? Why not his father or brothers?
God never works short term. He's got things figured out centuries before they happen. He didn't play "Eeny, meeny, miney, moe" with Abram. He got Abram ready with the teaching he received from Noah and Shem.
Apocryphal literature tells us that Abram spent 39 years living with Noah and Shem. Josephus tells us that when Abram went to Egypt he taught them science, astronomy, etc. Where did Abram learn all that? Again, the Book of Jasher fills in the details. Noah, Shem and Abram weren't out on the back deck by the pool for those 39 years.
Almost the day Abram returned from Noah's, he was contacted by God to get out of that country, leave EVERYTHING but his wife and his own servants. After a short detour of 25 years in Haran, Abram's father died and Abram finally moved on the where God lead him.
There's a war. Abram goes and beats up on the bad guys and brings everything and everyone back. As soon as he gets there, out of the blue, this guy Melchizedek shows up. King of (Melchi) Righteousness(zedek). He's also described as the king of Salem, which has to be Jerusalem. It's some sixty miles from Jerusalem to the Valley of the Kings, where Abram met Melchizedek. Josephus tells us that he brought much more than bread and wine, as it says in the Bible. Melchizedek brought lots of foodstuffs to feed Abram's little army.
With such a close connection to God, being a "priest of the most high God," it is reasonable to assume that God told Melchizedek about what was going on with Abram. God told Melchizedek to bring Abram some food. Why? Abram had all the food he needed. He was rich. He didn't take a penny from the kings to which he returned all the things and people.
I have to interject here that we should be focusing on what God is doing. What "message" is He bringing us by this encounter?
Only three things happen at the meeting; recognition of God's hand in beating the enemies, bread and wine, and tithing. Those are the three most important principles of the Walk with God.
God is real.
Why did God send Melchizedek to meet Abram? I'm sure it wasn't to bring him and his men a snack. What important principles can we glean from this meeting? If God chose to include only the bread and wine being brought by Melchizedek, He must have been teaching us something.
This encounter is obviously the first type of Communion in the Bible. I'm sure that many Christians have either thought of this or been taught it. What about the tithes that Abram paid to Melchizedek? It would definitely imply that Melchizidek was Abram's teacher in God things. It would also imply that this was not their first meeting. This conclusion can be reached by only applying these three Principles of God's Walk. God is real, faithing and pay the teacher.
Who was Abram's teacher? The Bible doesn't say. But Jasher says that Melchizedek of the Bible is "Adonizedek". I'm sure you've heard the word Adoni, Lord. It's the pronunciation that the Jews adopted for God's name, not wanting to say His name the way it's spelled. So, Jasher calls this man "Lord" (Adoni) of Righteousness (zedek).
This narrative goes on to say he's the King of Salem, just like in the Bible. But it then says, "the same was Shem."
I know that there are as many theories about who Melchizedek really is as there are people talking about it, but the only answer that fits in God's plan is that Melchizedek is Shem. Abram wouldn't tithe to a total stranger who just happened to show up, even if he was a priest of God. Melchizedek knew Abram and Abram knew Melchizedek. They weren't ships passing in the night. Abram's teacher would, of course, bring him communion. This is evident even without the book of Jasher's account.
Abram tithing to his teacher sets the model for all the subsequent giving in the Bible. The tithes always went to the "keepers" of God's word. Paul admonishes in all his letters but one that we are to support the teacher of God's word.
Melchizedek was Shem.
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