What? Abram encounters Jesus? Yes, and I’ll explain. First, I’ll summarize what happens in the first part of Genesis 14.
Lot, Abram’s nephew, moved near the sinful city of Sodom, and eventually moved into the city. The city’s king partnered with other nearby kings and went to war against the kings of Babylonia, Elam and others, who invaded. They battled in the valley of the Dead Sea. The invaders were victorious because the armies of the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fell into some tar pits. Having left the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah unprotected, the invaders plundered them, capturing Lot, his family and everything he owned.
One of Lot’s men escaped and ran to Abram, who mobilized 318 trained men from his household. He caught up with the invading king and attacked them at night. Abram saved Lot and his family and recovered all the stolen possessions and other captives. (If you want to read the whole account for yourself, go here.)
On the way back, he runs into an interesting fellow….
Melchizedek Blesses Abram
17 After Abram returned from his victory over Kedorlaomer and all his allies, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
18 And Melchizedek, the king of Salem (will eventually be called Jerusalem) and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine. 19 Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing:
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And blessed be God Most High,
who has defeated your enemies for you.”
Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth (a tithe or 10%) of all the goods he had recovered.
21 The king of Sodom (Satan) said to Abram, “Give back my people who were captured. But you may keep for yourself all the goods you have recovered.”
22 Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I solemnly swear to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take so much as a single thread or sandal thong from what belongs to you. Otherwise you might say, ‘I am the one who made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept only what my young warriors have already eaten, and I request that you give a fair share of the goods to my allies—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre.”Genesis 14:17-24 NLT
In the Book of Hebrews, we are told…
And God designated him to be a High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.Hebrews 5:10 NLT
The Bible is God’s Story. It’s God relating to humans. It’s God leading humans to Jesus. Many times in the Old Testament, God reveals Himself in human form. Actually, more that 150 times. Theophany is a Greek word that means “God reveals Himself”.
Where is the Gospel?
I’m going to borrow from the Bible study, Jesus in all of Genesis by Spoken Gospel, which is found in the free YouVersion Bible app…
God’s control and faithfulness reach their heights in Jesus.
Abram seemingly had no choice in which piece of land he would inherit. His land was selected by the process of elimination. Yet, this was a blessing to him. It was where God wanted him to be.
This is good news to those of us who know Jesus. No matter where we, either by choice or by what seems to be happenstance, we are not too far from God’s reach. All along, he is setting our steps to come to bring us to the place he wants us to be (Prov 16:9).
Like Abram’s small army, Jesus beat the biggest enemy of sin and death through the weakest of all tactics, laying his life down on a cross. That is because even the weakness of God is stronger than the strength of men (1 Cor. 1:23-25).
Lastly, the story of Melchizedek is also about Jesus. Melchizedek had no recorded genealogy or no death. It’s almost as if he was symbolically eternal (Heb 7:3). But what Melchizedek resembled, Jesus actually is – an eternal priest (Heb 7:17).
And like Abram, we cannot be bought for all the riches of this world. For the plunder Jesus earned for us in his death and resurrection is a greater treasure than anything found on earth (Rom 8:17).Spoken Gospel
Here are those Bible verses mentioned above…
We can make our plans,Proverbs 16:9 NLT
but the Lord determines our steps.
Oh, that is SO true!
23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.
24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.1 Corinthians 1:23-25 NLT
Abram beat the invading kings with only 318 men. Furthermore, we’ll see in other Old Testament Bible stories where the numbers are few, but God’s power is great.
3 There is no record of his father or mother or any of his ancestors—no beginning or end to his life. He remains a priest forever, resembling the Son of God.
17 And the psalmist pointed this out when he prophesied,
“You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”Hebrews 7:3, 17 NLT
The writer of Hebrews mentions the psalmist. That was King David and he wrote in Psalm 110…
The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit in the place of honor at my right hand
until I humble your enemies,
making them a footstool under your feet.”
2 The Lord will extend your powerful kingdom from Jerusalem (Zion);
you will rule over your enemies.
3 When you go to war,
your people will serve you willingly.
You are arrayed in holy garments,
and your strength will be renewed each day like the morning dew.
4 The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow:
“You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”
5 The Lord stands at your right hand to protect you.Psalm 110 NLT
He will strike down many kings when his anger erupts.
6 He will punish the nations
and fill their lands with corpses;
he will shatter heads over the whole earth.
7 But he himself will be refreshed from brooks along the way.
He will be victorious.
And the last scripture…
17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.Romans 8:17 NLT
Jesus is the King who died so He could be our Priest forever.
You become a child of God only when you are born-again into the family and become His heirs and inherit His glory. We are all created in God’s image, but we become children of God only when we are saved…
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180-degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him. When you ask Jesus to forgive you He will. ALL your sins will be wiped clean — past, present, and future! And All means ALL!
- Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the gift of Holy Spirit in your heart.
Prayer from the Spoken Gospel study…
May the Holy Spirit show you the God who is in control of all circumstances and brings everything together to be faithful to his promises. And may you see Jesus the king who died in order to be our priest forever. Amen.Spoken Gospel
Amir Tsarfati: Jesus in the Old Testament
Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!
Top image by YoMinistry from FreeBibleImages.org, (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).