Friday, Mar. 11
William R. Newell has a lot more to say about the Melchizedek story. The occasion that initiated the on going focus on this man is in Gen. 14. After Abraham and his men rescued Lot from captivity by the northern kings and returned with much loot, he was met by Melchizedek, king of Salem. Note that Melchizedek initiated the contact in order to bless Abraham. Melchizedek was the king of Salem, which was the site of the future Jerusalem, considered in the rest of Scripture as God’s earthly city (as against Babylon, pictured as Satan’s city). Besides being king of Salem, he was also the priest of “God Most High.” Abraham added to that title, “Creator of heaven and earth,” leaving no doubt as to the identity of this God. It would appear that Abraham was well acquainted with Melchizedek. He had sworn beforehand that he would give a tenth of the spoil to Melchizedek (vv. 22-23). The next mention of Melchizedek is in Ps. 110:4. This Psalm is prophetic and refers to Christ, who will rule over all as a priest in the order of Melchizedek. After another thousand years, the author of Hebrews takes up the theme. Newell calls this “one of the most remarkable proofs of the inspiration and the unity of Scripture, as written under the direct supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. In the book of Genesis all we know of him is told in three short, very simple verses. A thousand years later we find a psalm with just one single verse, in which God Himself is introduced, swearing to His Son that He is to be a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. Another thousand years pass, and that single verse becomes the seed of wondrous exposition . . . . of the whole work of redemption as revealed in Christ Jesus. All its more remarkable characteristics are found enveloped in the wondrous type. . . . nothing less than a miracle of Divine wisdom, guiding Melchizedek and Abraham with a view to that which was to take place . . . guiding the writer of our epistle in his Divinely-inspired exposition.” Do you think that Lot’s captivity was an accident? a disaster? a mere happenstance? No, he was a foil to exalt the awesome achievements of our Great High Priest.
Supporting divine inspiration of the Bible is an added bocnus.