Saturday, January 5, 2013
Who Gets the Glory?
Gen. 14:17 ¶ After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
Gen. 14:18 And King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High.
Gen. 14:19 He blessed him and said,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
maker of heaven and earth;
Gen. 14:20 and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”
And Abram gave him one tenth of everything.
Gen. 14:21 Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.”
Gen. 14:22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the LORD, God Most High, maker of heaven and earth,
Gen. 14:23 that I would not take a thread or a sandal-thong or anything that is yours, so that you might not say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’
Gen. 14:24 I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre. Let them take their share.”
Probably the most memorable story about Abram and his nephew Lot comes to us when fire and brimstone are brought down upon the evil city of Sodom where Lot had chosen to live. But that is not the first time that Lot is saved from that city. There is a period of time earlier where the kings of the region make war against Sodom and Lot and his family are taken away as plunder in that battle. There were numerous kings and communities involved in the battle. Amazingly Abram grabs members of his family and they go out to save Lot and his family. Even after all of this Lot goes back to live in Sodom.
It is the meeting which occurs after all of this fighting that is quite amazing. One of the "good" kings involved in the battle is also known as a High Priest, and his name is Melchizedek. He worships and serves God and he is the king of Salem, which we know today as Jerusalem. Why would this man appear here and in this place? It is almost as if the curtain is pulled back on the future and that he represents for us in this moment a glimpse of the future and the coming of Jesus Christ. We see him for a moment and then he disappears again from the pages of history. However, Abram's response to him shows us the importance of our response to the Messiah who will come.
Abram brings Melchizedek a tenth -- he brings to him a tithe of everything that he had. Again this becomes a foreshadowing of what faithful followers of Jesus Christ are do in the presence of The King! And Abram knew that he wanted God to have the credit for what had happened and not man. This is found in his very purposeful response to the king of Sodom. Abram could have had considerable additional wealth as a result of the plunder from this altercation but instead he refused to keep it and instead gave it back to the king of Sodom. He returned to the earth what was the earth's and gave in worship to God what was to be given to God -- and God was given the glory for all that happened in his life!
Lord, I want my life to glorify you -- and I want the world to know that all I have is from you. Please, help me to be faithful in all things! Amen.