Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Friday after the First Sunday after the Epiphany of our Lord

Posted on January 18, 2019 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Genesis 14:8-24 (NKJV)
14:8 And 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 joined together in battle in the Valley of Siddim 9 against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of nations, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar—four kings against five. 10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of asphalt pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled; some fell there, and the remainder fled to the mountains. 11 Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. 12 They also took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
13 Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, for he dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner; and they were allies with Abram. 14 Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 He divided his forces against them by night, and he and his servants attacked them and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. 16 So he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people.
17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him.
18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said:
“Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all.
21 Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself.”
22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich’—24 except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.”
“Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.”
An enemy king had overrun Sodom, taking Lot and his family captive. Abraham came out with 318 men, and God gave him victory over this enemy, and all the captives of Sodom were freed. Abraham himself refused any recompense, that he might clearly confess that his blessings were from the Lord, and not from the king of Sodom.
Abraham then goes to this “Melchizedek.” The name means “King of Righteousness,” but he is also king of Salem (later called “Jerusalem”). And as well as being a king, he was “the priest of God Most High.” Abraham even gives him tithes of everything! This man is introduced to us out of nowhere, and here Abraham is, submitting to him. And the priest/king accepts his tithes.
What a picture he is to us of Christ, the true King of Salem (which means “peace”), the true King of Righteousness, our true eternal “priest of God Most High.” God grant us ever faithfully to confess Christ as our prophet, priest, and king; both with our humble submission to Him, and also with our Christ-confessing offerings.
We pray: Lord Jesus Christ, my Prophet, Priest, and King, grant me this day faithfully to confess You with my resources, with my humble obedience to You, and with my Christian conduct before men. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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