April 5, 2021 — Encounters With Two Kings

On any given day, we have no way of knowing that a test is waiting for us that will shape the rest of our lives.

After Abram’s battle to rescue Lot and his townsfolk, the friend of God met two more kings. The first was Melchizedek, king of Salem. They met in the King’s Dale, the saddle between Moriah and the City of David, where to this day you can walk along Malki-zedek Street! Melchizedek, we read in Hebrews 7:2, “first being translated ‘king of righteousness,’ and then also king of Salem, meaning ‘king of peace,’” prefigures the Savior who would Himself die on Mount Moriah to first provide the gift of righteousness to us by grace so we can then experience peace with God. And, surprise, surprise, Melchizedek provided Abram with the very things the Lord gave His people to remember Him: bread and wine. The king of Salem also blessed the patriarch with these words: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth” (v 19). Have you ever heard the phrase, “You took the words right out of my mouth”? Well, here the king put the words right into Abram’s mouth. Abram didn’t know it, but he was about to face temptation from the king of Sodom. And the sentence Melchizedek just gave him was the line he needed for that test. Abram, in response to the king’s ministry, “gave him a tithe of all” (v 20). So as Abram continues his journey, Sodom’s king stops him and says, in effect, “Let’s make a deal.” As Scripture put it, “Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself” (v 21). Oh, no, responds Abram. “I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth.” He wouldn’t take so much as a thread or shoelace, for fear that some day the king of Sodom would rob God of glory by saying, “I have made Abram rich.” How careful we must be that the praise from our lives is directed always to the Lord.