This last passage of Genesis 14
gives us a glimpse of the gospel message
through the order of Melchizedek.
"the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah,
Admah, Zeboyim and Bela
(that is, Zoar) - marched out
and drew up their battle lines
in the Valley of Siddim
against Kedorlaomer king of Elam,
Tidal king of Goyim, Amraphel king of Shinar
and Arioch king of Ellasar.
Now the Valley of Siddim
(the Salt Sea) was full of tar pits,
and when the kings
of Sodom and Gomorrah fled,
some of the men fell into them
and the rest fled to the hills.
The four kings (of Mesopotamia)
seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah
and all their food; then they went away.
They also carried off Abram’s nephew Lot
and his possessions,
since he was living in Sodom.
A man who had escaped came
and reported this to Abram the Hebrew
(the man who God had spoke to
and promised to give all the land
as far as the eye could see).
Now Abram was living near
the great trees of Mamre the Amorite,
a brother of Eshkol and Aner,
all of whom were allied with Abram.
When Abram heard that
his relative (Lot) had been taken captive,
he called out the 318 trained men
born in his household
and went in pursuit as far as Dan
(That’s interesting because the tribe of Dan
did not yet exist - so this place is hard to understand).
During the night
Abram divided his men
to attack them and he routed them,
pursuing them as far as Hobah,
north of Damascus (northern Syria).
Abram recovered all the goods
and brought back his nephew Lot
and his possessions,
together with the women and the other people.
After Abram returned
from defeating Kedorlaomer
and the kings allied with him,
the king of Sodom came out to meet him
in the Valley of Shaveh
(that is, the King’s Valley).”
“Then Melchizedek king of Salem (Peace)
brought out bread and wine
(the communion elements).
Melchizedek was priest of God Most High,
and he blessed Abram, saying,
“Blessed be Abram
by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth.
And praise be to God Most High,
who delivered your enemies
into your hand.”
the king and priest from Salem
came to greet Abram in the Valley of Shaveh,
also known as the Valley of the King.
I wonder if this could have been
the name for Jerusalem -
the city of peace,
the Holy City that sits in Mount Zion?
to have come down from Heaven
as a king and a priest
with bread and wine in hand.
His mission was to bless Abram -
all because El ʿElyon, the Most High God,
delivered Abram’s enemies into his hands.
*This reminds me of story of Gideon
who defeats the Midianites
with only 300 men, not 10,000
like there could have been.
The only way it could have happened
was through the power, direction
and protection of the Most High God.
“Then Abram gave Melchizedek
a tenth of everything.”
I wonder if this is where
the tithe comes from -
giving a 10th of all that you have?
“The king of Sodom said to Abram,
“Give me the people
and keep the goods for yourself.”
“But Abram said to the king of Sodom,
“With raised hand
I have sworn an oath to the Lord,
God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth,
that I will accept nothing
belonging to you, not even a thread
or the strap of a sandal,
so that you will never be able to say,
‘I made Abram rich.’
I will accept nothing
but what my men have eaten
and the share that belongs
to the men who went with me -
to Aner, Eshkol and Mamre.
Let them have their share.”
I just love how this story ends.
Abram continues to praise the Lord.
He stands on the oath He made with God.
He does not want one thing
from the king of Sodom.
He does not want the king to have
any ownership of him.
And then He demands
that the men who helped him
be grafted in, and be given the share
of what is owed to them.
May God continue to bless us
with this message.
May the gospel glimpse
be burned into our hearts where it belongs.