We read in Genesis and Hebrews that Melchizedek was a priest of the Most High God. We also read that Abraham believed, communicated with, and worshiped God. Christians often miss the importance of this information and here is the truth. There were a few people who worshiped God long before the children of Israel were born, or the Law of Moses was written. Their worship had to be by faith because there was no written criteria to follow. So why has the “Christian religious since Jesus’ resurrection”, created so many doctrines of how we are supposed to worship God in order to be accepted by Him? Because for some reason they were blinded to what true faith in Jesus Christ is; nor how His death and resurrection created the bridge between the great divide that was between God and man since the fall of Adam.
Hebrews 7:1-4, 1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated "king of righteousness," and then also king of Salem, meaning "king of peace," 3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually. 4 Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils.
The first two verses in Hebrews chapter 7 are reminding the Jews of the story as we read in Genesis about Melchizedek in the first time Abraham met him. What verse three is actually reminding the Jews is Melchizedek was not a priest that came to the lineage as set forth by the law Moses. His priesthood was not a birthright, it was not something earned, and it truly was set forth by God. The reason this is a superior priesthood is because under the Law of Moses one was born into the priesthood, but Melchizedek had to have been appointed by God into his priesthood position. True the High Priest was chosen from the Levi tribe, but no one else could be a priest except a Levite, nor could a Levite be anything else but a priest. So in comparing Jesus to Melchizedek, they both were appointed by God and not born into their position.
A truth many people miss in reading these verses and the actual story in Genesis is the fact that there were people even in the days of Abraham and before who worshiped our God. Although we have no record of what was taught or how they worshiped, we do know that God tells us in Genesis 14:18 and now in Hebrews that there were some people who worshiped Him before the children of Israel were even born. I bring this up for those who insist on following the Law of Moses or at least incorporating some of the Laws of Moses into their Christian walk as the only way to worship Him. Not so! God wants a relationship with each person one on one, not for the person to just follow a set of rules. A man can follow another man’s rules and still dislike that man, this happens all the time in the work world. But you cannot have a relationship with anyone if there is not some kind of bond between the two and that bond must be established on something other than rules.
Verse three is symbolic of Jesus in a couple of ways in that we are told he had no end to his position of priest of the Most High God as is true of our Lord. His genealogy is unknown and therefore under Jewish law he could have never been a high priest. Jesus born from the tribe of Judah instead of the tribe of Levi also could have never been appointed as high priest. The third most significant point is that Melchizedek was obviously appointed as high priest by God and not elected by man as in the caser of the high priest under Mosaic Law. Although one must first be born a Levi, the high priest was actually chosen by his fellow brethren and didn’t live long.
Verse four is directed specifically at the descendants of Abraham in that Jews considered Abraham the most important man in their history and here Abraham gave tithes and honor to a priest of the Most High God who was not from the tribe of Levi. What has actually happened is the writer of Hebrews has actually elevated Jesus to back to His rightful position in the minds of the Christian Jews who had begun slipping back into following the Mosaic Law.
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