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Abraham's Attitude to Melchi-zedek
A very significant perspective in understanding God's mind
Our Example of faith meets a godly king
factor is very significant. In the New Testament book of Hebrews it is used to show that Christ is our priest before God, even though He was not a descendant of Aaron. But there is much more to this that is largely unappreciated.
Hebrews 7:1; 11, etc..
The key to our understanding of this – is in David's behaviour – after he becomes king of all Israel.
was the neglected son (forgotten when Samuel came to lead the family in worship) who, through his long hours of worship in the wild, while watching his father's sheep, came to love God and therefore to know His mind in a unique way.
The first sign of this is what David did with Goliath's head after he killed him without a sword on the Philistine battle field in the Valley of Elah. The Bible takes the trouble to let us know that David took Goliath's head to Jerusalem, even though it was an Amorite city at that time, which years before under Adoni-zedek had been the enemy of Israel that had fought Joshua.
No explanation is given, for the reason lies in David's personal perception and not in anyone's behaviour at that time.
1 Samuel 17:54.
Young David was not part of Israel's army and his brothers thought his concern about Goliath's blasphemy of God when he delivered food to them was just a sight-seeing angle to avoid going back to his sheep. But David's behaviour points us to his real values and a depth of perception not shared by those around him.
years later, seven years after becoming king of his own tribe, Judah, David is accepted by all Israel as their king, and he then implements his plan regarding the Armorite city of Jerusalem over which Melchi-zedek had been king in Abraham's time. Many scholars today interpret David's conquest of Jerusalem and his making it his capital as simply a militarily strategic move after becoming king of all Israel, for they do not share David's perspective.
2 Samuel 5:3.
would have known, as the first book of Holy Scripture describes, that Melchi-zedek of Jerusalem, although he had lost nothing in the invasion of the kings of the East (who had taken Lot, Abraham's nephew, captive), and had nothing to gain, brought food and drink to Abraham's men and his allies when the returned from battle with the invaders. In appreciative response, Abraham gives 10% of all that they had looted from the invaders. This was the general tax percentage in Abraham's background of Ur in Chaldea, and was Abraham's acknowledgement of the rulership of Melchi-zedek.
Genesis 14:18.
Abraham (whose faith in God was beyond his own understanding by leaving Ur without a destination, Hebrews 11:8, and who thereby set the tone for all Israel's believers) had respected Melchi-zedek so much that he voluntarily paid him a 10% tax, as if he were Abraham's king, meant something to David. This was a statement of the recognition of Mechichi-zedek's leadership of his people that went beyond politics. That tax was Abraham's recognition of the moral and spiritual character of a man who had earned the title in his Canaanite language of "king-of-righteousness" (Mechi-zedek) and whose city therefore became known as the "city-of -peace" (Uru-salem) as a consequence of his gracious and God-fearing rule.
David, in the prophecy of Israel's Messiah in Psalm 110:4, states for Israel to understand that His priesthood would be on merit for He would not be a descendant of Aaron, and that Abraham's Melchi-zedek had set the example for that –
"The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, 'You are a priest forever after the order of Melchi-zedek'."
– appropriately, in a prophetic psalm of the ascension of the Messiah to intercede at the right hand of God (110:1).
In contrast to the
inherited order
of Aaron
Bible had made reference in Genesis to Mechi-zedek being priest of God Most High (כהן לאל עליון) and some preachers have even speculated that perhaps he was Jesus and so have totally missed the point. In those days it was common to combine religious and political leadership. It is our modern world that has wisely separated the two. We are helped to understand more of Mechi-zedek, when David evacuates his troops from Jerusalem to save that city from the military conflict after his rebellious son marches against him.
See: For
Melchi-Zedek's Sake
It says that David stood on the Mount of Olives, to oversee his troop evacuation, at the place where God had been worshipped in the past. Many translators battle to make sense of this, because they do not share David's perspective, and sometimes translate it as if David was worshipping there. But the sentence is in the past tense and points to what was prior to David, for it is a reference to Mechi-zedek leading his citizens in worship of God Most High at that place on the Mount of Olives in the time of Abraham. That is most certainly why the ascension of the Lord Jesus took place there (Acts 1:12), and is specifically the place to which He returns (Zechariah 14:4).
2 Samuel 15:32.
The Mount of Olives, to the East of Jerusalem and slightly higher, caught the morning sun earlier, and, as was common to the Middle East world in both ancient Egypt's temples and as God had commanded Israel regarding its own tabernacle and later its temple, the place of worship always faced East.
Exodus 27:13.
perspective on Melchi-zedek's city is why God did not allow David to build a temple to Him in his own time, for Jerusalem needed to be true to its name as city-of-peace before it could represent the Lord's Name in its temple, even though David's wars were necessary to establish peace. Therefore, a lesser man, Solomon, in the peace he inherited became the builder of the temple of God according to the design that David had been inspired by God to develop.
1 Chronicles
So David's transfer of his capital to Jerusalem was not simply for a more strategic location, but had much to do with its significance to his patriarch Abraham.
Loving God in his lonely hours as a sheep-herder had given David a perspective that needs to be rediscovered today in valuing God's values above our own.
— Only then will we understand His ways —

Jacob and Joseph 430 Years in Mizra´im A Basket of Faith
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