Posts Tagged ‘king of peace’

A good portion of Hebrews 7 is devoted to the mysterious Melchizedek, the priest-king to whom Abraham tithed “10% of everything.” One of the great wonders to the believers of that time was his lack of genealogy. Who was this guy? Many theories, but no one really knows. Nevertheless, he had the authority to bless, even the patriarch, Abraham.

Hebrews 7:2b-3
“. . . First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.”

Questions that can send silent shudders up a librarian’s spine are from the amateur genealogists seeking out their family line. They are an enthusiastic bunch and quick to tell of their latest discoveries. The librarian nods her head and smiles while the genealogist explains the depth of his or her line. There is great pride in sleuthing out names and dates and long lost relatives that go back to the American Revolution or even earlier.

But in Jewish history, the genealogical line was even more important. People were rooted in their community or accepted into a new community by the veracity of their genealogical line. In modern times, this is sometimes mirrored in small communities where being “from” there requires the person to be “born there.” And certainly, in the Mormon church, genealogy is critical to leadership. Most of the best genealogical records of modern times have been stored and digitized by that group.

But here is Melchizedek, apparently quite powerful and respected which is reflected in the 10% of all “booty” that Abraham and his men give to him after defeating the kings of Sodom. We know so little of his story that he has become the subject of much speculation, particularly among various teachers and rabbi’s. Some claim he was divine which explains his lack of lineage while others say he was simply an anointed king of the era.

I am captivated by this story because of its mystery. The Bible has many such characters who appear briefly and then are heard of no more. There is usually significance in their appearances, but I’m not sure what it is.

Today, I am simply struck by the idea that there is always someone higher than us. No matter how much fame or fortune or power we attain, there is always someone who has more. God places each of us in that continuum, in some cases, it is we ourselves who are the “higher one,” perhaps by income or status or position at work. We are inside the sandwich of authority.

Melchizedek blessed Abraham first and then the gift was given willingly. Isn’t it important for me to bless those around me who are in a different part of the sandwich. It’s so important to speak blessings to everyone in our circle of influence, but even moreso to those who have less than we do. A blessing calls on God to fill in where human cannot.

The trick is not to envy or become jealous of the blessings, for some will be called to the higher table at the banquet.

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