And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand." He gave him a tenth of all.Genesis 14:20(NASB)
After defeating Chedorlaomer and the rebellious kings who were with him and having rescued his nephew Lot and recovered all the spoils of war, which had been stolen from Sodom and the other cities of the plain, Abram returned and was met by two individuals - the wicked king of Sodom and the godly Melchizedek, (king of Salem and priest of the Most High God).
Abram was confronted with a choice - would he remain God's faithful servant, continue to believe His precious promises, and trust Him to be his Shield and great Provider OR would he be tempted with the glittering prizes that had been successfully retrieved from the defeated attackers? The king of Sodom was ready to offer him all the abundance of wealth he had redeemed from the enemy combatants - on condition that the rescued souls were given into his evil custody.
We also read that Melchizedek, king of Salem, came out to greet Abram and brought him bread and wine - the very symbols of our great Christian faith, which we take and eat and drink in remembrance of Christ Who died for our sin, is risen from the dead, and is coming again to take us to be with Himself. Melchizedek was not only named king of righteousness and king of peace, but he was also priest of God Most High.
As we trace the various references of this fascinating king-priest through the pages of Scripture, we discover him to be an intriguing individual and a beautiful type of the Lord Jesus Christ - our King of Righteousness, our Prince of Peace, and God's Great High Priest of heaven and earth.
Abram was at a crossroads in his life and had to decide whom he would serve. Would he choose the king of Sodom and the abundant worldly wealth he was being offered or Melchizedek - the representative of the God of heaven and earth - Who many years before had promised to bring Abram out from the land of Ur into a land that He would show him? He promised to make him into a great nation, bless him mightily, make his name great, and cause him to become a blessing to all the families of the earth.
Abram chose wisely... rejecting the passing pleasures of worldly wealth, for we read that Melchizedek blessed him by saying, "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth - and blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand." Abram may have been triumphant against the rebellious kings and rescued his nephew from enslavement, but he was reminded that God was his Deliverer, Who alone deserves praise and honour. The Lord was the One Who prepared his path before him and followed behind to give him success in his recent mercy mission.
The blessing that Abram received from Melchizedek, the royal-priest of God, holds deep spiritual significance. Although Abram would soon be renamed Abraham and become the great father of faith and renowned patriarch of Israel - through whom the priestly line of Aaron would come - the greater blessed the lesser. Melchizedek blessed Abram, demonstrating the superiority of the Melchizedek priesthood in comparison with the Aaronic priesthood which would come through Abram's offspring.
"And Abram gave Melchizedek a tithe of all." The tithe given to Melchizedek was from the man who would be the progenitor of the Aaronic priesthood - who would mediate between God and man until the Messiah would come, after the order of Melchizedek, and supersede the Aaronic priesthood as the One and Only Mediator between God and Man. Whether it was a tithe of the spoils of war or a tithe of Abram's entire wealth, we are not told, but the superiority of Melchizedek over Abram reminds us of the superiority of Christ over Moses, the angelic host, the Aaronic priesthood, and God's entire creation.
This blessing from this priest of the Most High God must have reminded Abram of the promises God made to him many years before. Indeed, as children of the Most High God, we are also blessed with the same priceless provision and protection that was given to Abram. As His blood-bought children we also enjoy the same precious promises of God, which are 'yes' and 'amen' in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the many lessons that we learn from Your Word and the many precious promises that are 'yes' and 'amen' in Christ Jesus our Lord. I praise and thank You for Your precious promise to deliver us from all our enemies. Thank You that like Abram our faith in Christ is credited as righteousness and that in Him we have been declared righteous in Your sight. May my life become a sacrifice of prayer and praise for all You goodness and grace to me and to all men. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.