BSF Genesis: Week 13, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

8.
They came out to meet him in the valley and each attempted to honor him in his own way. Melchizedek brought bread and wine and blessed Abram with a prayer of blessing from God and honoring to God. Abram gave him a tenth of everything. Sodom focused on possessions. He wanted the people and to leave Abram with all other possessions. Abram said he swore an oath to God to not take anything, even a sandal strap. But the other kings should receive their share.

9.
a.
I am your shield. I am your great reward

b.
He had just stood up to a king of a wicked people and given up a great amount of wealth and riches. He had delivered a message to the king of Sodom that God was against him.  But, more so, I think he had fear for his nephew Lot.  Lot must have chosen to go right back into sin city.  Abram would have had great fear for his nephew.  Not to read ahead, but he doesn’t consider Lot to be a viable heir, but instead his only living heir is a servant he acquired.

10.
God tells us to not be afraid, over and over again. But it is hard. We make so many decisions and there is such uncertainty in this life it is hard not to be afraid and not to have second thoughts.  It is easy to look back on each decision and have doubts and questions: did I make the right choice.  But God calls us to have confidence and to shed the fear because God works all for His glory.  It is not whether I make the right decision, but how I make the decision that matters most to God.  Do I rely on myself or put my trust in Him with the intent to bring glory to Him?

My Daily Journal:

Question 8 was my pivotal question this week.

Here comes Abram marching back into the Valley of the Kings.  He is victorious.  He is accompanied not only with his entire army but with all the people and possessions.  To the victor go the spoils.  This all belongs to Abram.

The valley he walks in to must have been somber.  Not only had all the local kings been defeated in battle, but their cities had been sacked and raided, their people had all been hauled off as slaves.  It says the armies took ALL of their food.  The kings had fled from the battle, leaving their soldiers to be trapped in tarpits.  The few soldiers that did escape fled to the hills, but you cannot imagine they maintain any loyalty to these defeated and cowardly kings.

In comes mighty Abram and out come Melchizedek and the King of Sodom.  With one swipe of his sword Abram could kill the king and place himself on the throne over the entire valley.  Not even his own sword would be required, he had an army of fighting men with him loyal to his word or hand gesture.

The contrasts in this meeting are so rich.  Look at this:

The first words out of the mouth of the King of Salem are: “Blessed Be.”

Abram’s response is to give him a tenth of everything.  Note, he does not ask permission of anyone else.  All of this is Abram’s to give or keep as he sees fit.

Next is the King of Sodom.  His first words are “Give me.”

Abram responds, “With raised hand”

While the King of Sodom is trying to put on a good front, it has to realize that with one motion of that raised hand he is dead.  But instead of raising his hand against this wicked King, Abram says, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth”

What an amazing and powerful scene that is such a strong lesson to us.  Are my thoughts and words first to bless others or to get for myself.  Do I raise my hand against others or raise it in praise and promise to my solemn Lord?

BSF Acts: Week 11, Day 3: Hebrews 5:1–10

Hebrews 5:1–10

Summary:

Being a priest is not just a job, it is a calling by God.  Jesus was called by God to be our eternal high priest and the source of our eternal salvation

Questions:

6. (1) Selected among men and appointed to represent them, (2) Able to deal gently with others, (3) must be called by God (not self appointed)

I think there would be amazing benefits if christian leaders held to these same standards, particularly the third.  A lot of issues come from those who take on a leadership role for reasons other than being called to it by God.

7. v5, Son of God; v5, appointed by the Father; v6, named by God as a priest forever; v7, while Jesus did not sin, He did pray particularly regarding death; v7, reverent submission; v8, suffered; v9, perfect; v9, source of eternal salvation; v10, designated by God as high priest forever

8. a. eternal salvation

b. While disobedient in many ways, many of my ongoing temptations are health related.  I don’t eat as I should, exercise as I should, etc.  The obvious result of my disobedience (of following the calling of my stomach rather than being obedient) is that I am shortening my days on the earth.  The blessing to others of greater obedience would be more days that I could be encouraging, loving and caring for them.

Conclusions:

Gen 14:18-20: Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He 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.”

Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

In the next several weeks of the study we will see Melchizedek’s name a few more times.  Prior to Hebrews he is referenced only in this Genesis passage and then again in Psalm 110 in a Messianic prophecy (Psalm 110 is only 7 verses long).  Here are a few interesting notes to keep in mind:

  1. He was the only priest of God who was also a king noted in the bible
  2. As the king of Salem he was literally the “king of peace”
  3. His name is comprised of two word meaning “king of righteousness”
  4. He predates the Levitical line by at least 5 generations
  5. He gave Abram bread and wine and blessed him (there will be discussion to follow about how the greater provides a blessing to the lesser)