Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Genesis Notes: Melchizedek's Resume

I love these resumes from the Life Application Bible. They really have a way of focusing us on important information we might otherwise have missed in the bigger story.

Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek, Dieric Bouts the Elder, 1464–67
This meeting between Abram and Melchizedek was most unusual. Although the two men were strangers and foreigners to each other, they shared a most important characteristic: both worshiped and served the one God who made heaven and earth. This was a great moment of triumph for Abram, about whose victory it was. Melchizedek set the record straight by reminding Abram "Blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand" (Genesis 14:20). Abram recognized that this man worshiped the same God he did.

Melchizedek was one of a small group of God-honoring throughout the Old Testament who came in contact with the Jews (Israelites) but were not Jews themselves. This indicates that the requirement to be a follower of God is not genetic, but is based on faithfully obeying his teachings and recognizing his greatness.

Strengths and accomplishments:
  • The first priest/king of Scripture -- a leader with a heart tuned to God
  • Good at encouraging others to serve God wholeheartedly
  • A man whose character reflected his love for God
  • A person in the Old Testament who reminds us of Jesus and who some believe really was Jesus
Lesson from his life:
  • Live for God and you're likely to be at the right place at the right time ...
Vital statistics:
  • Where: Ruled Salem, the site of the future Jerusalem
  • Occupation: King of Salem and priest of God Most High
Key verse:
"This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him ... Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder!" (Hebrews 7:1, 4)

Melchizedek's story is told in Genesis 14:17-20. He also is mentioned in Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5-7.

All material quoted is from the Life Application Study Bible. This series first ran in 2004 and 2005. I'm refreshing it as I go. For links to the whole study, go to the Genesis Index. For more about the resources used, go here.

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