Summary: Message 4 of 4 in send part of Hebrews Study. This study examines Melchizedek and appeals teaches the importance of tithing as a Godly principle.
3/2/08 – Look Up
18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
This is all that we know about this Melchizedek. The only other mention in the Old Testament is found in Psalm 110:4. This verse is the text used several times in the New Testament book of Hebrews. This Psalm is one of the Royal or Messianic Psalms. It reads: “The LORD has sworn And will not relent, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
Remember, the author of Hebrews was writing to Jewish believers to encourage them to go on with Jesus and not go back to the Old Testament legal system. In this section he is revealing the superiority of Jesus as our great high priest over the Levitical priesthood.
In our study we’ve been using several different metaphors to illustrate the idea that Jesus is the best choice for life. We started with the Best Buy metaphor; thousands of choices – Get the best. We’re using the Meijers metaphor as we close out this section of Hebrews; Higher Standards – Less Sin. Next week we’ll open the third section of Hebrews focusing on Jesus’ sacrifice using the Target metaphor; Expect More – Get Perfection and we’ll be closing out Hebrews with a metaphor from Wal-mart; Great Hope – Always!
Today we’re going to look closely at a person named Melchizedek and learn that it’s not really about him at all. It’s all about Jesus and what that means to you and I today. What we’ll see is that Jesus is the source of our blessings and the object of our offerings.
Back in the 17th century, the Dutch artist Rembrandt painted two portraits of a famous Roman heroine named Lucretia. One portrait was painted the 1664. Two years later, he painted a second portrait of Lucretia in a different pose. For over 300 years, the two paintings were never seen together. Different private collectors owned one or the other of the paintings.
They were two paintings of the same person, painted by the same master, but no one was aware of their connection … until 1991. At last, the two paintings were displayed side by side where they could be compared.
In a similar way, the portraits of Melchizedek and Jesus Christ had never been compared until the 7th chapter of Hebrews. Ever since Abraham encountered the mysterious Priest called Melchizedek, his name was held as a masterpiece of God.
Over 2000 years later, another masterpiece appeared in the form of Jesus Christ. In Hebrews chapter 7, the two portraits are finally displayed together and we see an amazing similarity.
Melchizedek – King of Righteousness
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, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.”
Melchizedek is not so much a name as it is a title or designation of honor. It is a position or office that has to be filled by a worthy candidate.
The term is a transliteration of two Hebrew words, melek and tsedeq. The Hebrew melek means king and tsedeq means righteousness. Therefore, the term "melchizedek" means literally, "king of righteousness."
Melek = King
Tsedeq = Righteousness
Jeremiah the prophet wrote: “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely;
Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
Because a king is always preeminent in his jurisdiction, whoever Melchizedek was, he had to be preeminent in righteousness. He was the "king" of righteousness.
Melchizedek was also the king of Salem. This may be a reference to Jerusalem. But the meaning of the term “king of Salem” is “king of peace.”
Jesus of course is our peace. He paid the price of peace. He gives us peace. There can be no real peace apart from Christ.
Isaiah called Jesus, “Prince of Peace.
A group of academics and historians has compiled this startling information: since 3600 B. C., the world has known only 292 years of peace! During this period there have been 14,351 wars large and small, in which 3,640,000,000 people have been killed. The