Welcome to my goofy attempts to have Advent devotionals with my busy college students who now live in 3 different cities…
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.Genesis 14:18-20
Melchizedek is an interesting figure who first appears in Genesis chapter 14. At this point in history, Abram had just rescued his nephew Lot from Chedorlaomer, one of many kings who had gone to battle against the king of Sodom. After the victory, Abram goes to meet the king of Sodom in a valley when he is approached by Melchizedek, who is is described as the king of Salem, a priest of the Most High God. Melchizedek brings out bread and wine, blesses Abram, and Abram gives him a tenth (or tithe) of all he has.
Now if we look at these terms, Melchizedek in Hebrew literally means “my king is righteous.” Salem, or sha-lame in Hebrew, is obviously related to shalom – peace. So we have my king is righteous, king of peace, priest of the Most High God.
Psalm 110 also mentions Melchizedek and is considered by many be a Messianic psalm. It says in verse four: “The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.'” The writer of Hebrews, in chapter 7, also mentions Melchizedek and digs into the meanings behind the names among other things.
But what I want to look at is the fact that this king – my king is righteous, King of Peace – offered bread and wine to Abram.
I can’t help but think of Jesus, who at the Last Supper, took the bread, broke it after giving thanks, passed it around, and said, “Take and eat; this is my body;” and He took the cup of wine and blessed it, saying, “This is my blood of the covenant, poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (see Matthew 26:26-28, et al). He ordered us to do this in remembrance of Him.
Our King is righteous, and He has done so much for us. It’s my prayer that you will know Him as your King of Peace, the King who is righteous, this holiday season and forever after.