TODAY'S FOCUS: Genesis 14:18-20
Now Melchizedek the king of Salem and the priest of El Elyon had brought bread and wine, and he blessed him, “Bless Abram by El Elyon, creator of heaven and earth; bless El Elyon, who gave you the victory over your enemies.”
(Common English Bible)
Wait, what? I thought Abram is the only one who knows and worships the One True God in this story. God is revealed to Abram alone; the others are still polytheistic (worshipers of many gods). Where did this Melchizedek guy come from? What’s he doing bring bread and wine? These are pretty specific elements that seem awfully familiar to me. What is this guy doing blessing Abram in the name of God Most High? How did he become a priest? Aren’t priests of our God from the tribal line of Levi? They aren’t even born yet!
I’m sometimes easily confused, but this one is mystifying. Sort of.
It seems El Elyon (God Most High) is reminding me that El Elyon can do anything El Elyon wants. Perhaps I should say: God is reminding me AGAIN. This God-prompting-thread runs through the entire fabric of my existence.
Throughout the Bible, Melchizedek is recognized as a priest of the One True God and foreshadows the rule of Jesus Christ. Abram acknowledges God’s agent and offers him a tithe – 10% of everything he has. (As Beth Moore notes in her study The Patriarchs: “My gift is to God, but since I can’t place it directly in His hands, I give it to Him through offerings to organizations representing Him on earth.”) The symbolism here is strong, but not nearly as strong as that bread and wine from earlier. Talk about foreshadowing!
I remember foreshadowing from my undergrad English lit courses. It’s all about the future. Foreshadowing is hinting at something to happen later in the story without revealing everything. Yup, that sounds like something El Elyon would do. The bread and wine offered to Abram and his battle-weary men strongly infer the body and blood of Christ offered to me in my battle-weary condition.
Foreshadowing, predicting, revealing… insert whatever visioning word works for you. I believe this is the One True God gifting me with a glimpse of the mysterious, wondrous, glorious things to come!
El Elyon, throughout my day, open my eyes to the glory and mystery that surrounds me. Remind me that the more time we spend together, the more wonder you reveal to me! Amen.
More to think about:
Hebrews 6:19 – 7:17