Ezekiel 12:1-14:11, Hebrews 7:1-17, Psalms 105:37-45, Proverbs 27:3
Today is the 5th day of November. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you today as we launch into our work week together. So glad that we can spend a few moments orienting ourselves to God and allowing God’s word to speak to us as we head into this part of the week. So, we’re reading from the Names of God Bible this week. Ezekiel chapter 12 verse 1…I sound like I was calling my son. I hear myself in headphones. My son’s name is Ezekiel…so it’s like E-ze-kiel. Anyway, Ezekiel chapter 12 verse 1 through 14 verse 11 today.
Okay. So, in the book of Hebrews today we read of a man named Melchizedek. And I remember going into this last year, we spent several days on this. We won’t do that this year but we will try to figure out who Melchizedek is and why he’s important. And this brings up something else that’s important. Hebrews is written to Hebrews, right? And I have already said it a number of times and probably will continue to say that a number of times because, even though we can go like, dah, okay, got it, it is so important to this book. This is a Hebrew context of Jesus and His mission and what He has done. And, so, it’s brought in through a Hebrew religious context, right? I mean if we’re Gentiles, which most of us are Gentiles and we never knew anything whatsoever about Judaism, we never had any context for the Torah, we’ve never read the Old Testament, we’ve never read the New Testament for that matter, right? We just opened up the book and we start reading about some high priest name Melchizedek and how Jesus blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, right? We have no idea what’s going on. However, if you’re a first century Hebrew and these terms and terminology and discussions theologically are brought up, you do understand what’s going on. Your life has been shaped by these things. So, since the writer of Hebrews made a direct correlation between Melchizedek and Jesus, we should at least explore he was. The interesting thing is once you open up the cover of that book the myth and the lore around him would take hours…hours to begin to unpack. And since we don’t have a time for that let’s just look at what connects the dots between this obscure person who is mentioned twice in the Old Testament and then suddenly appears and materializes in Hebrews as a figure not unlike Jesus. So, Melchizedek first appears in the book of Genesis with Abram. And we read from Genesis chapter 14: And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God most high brought Abram some bread and wine. Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing. Blessed to be Abram by God most high Creator of heaven and earth and blessed be God most high, who has defeated your enemies for you. Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered. Okay. So, that’s from the book of Genesis. And the only other time Melchizedek is mentioned in the Old Testament is in Psalm 110, which was composed by David. And it reads: The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow. You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. Okay. So, we know that there was a significant span of time between Genesis and Psalms, right? Between Abraham and David. And then we also know that there’s a significant span of time between David and the first century book of Hebrews. So, we can deduce then that Melchizedek had longevity somehow. Like, he certainly captured the imagination of the Hebrew people over thousands of years, but this would have been extra biblically, which means it would’ve been traditions outside of what is captured in the Bible. And I say that because…because of the fact that outside of…what we are talking about now in the book of Hebrews…we just read everything there is to read in the Bible about Melchizedek. And, you know, even though he shows up with Abraham and even though David refers to him, which is no small thing. There’s not enough information there, right? Like to hold thousands of years of fascination. So, who Melchizedek was and why he’s important. This has been the topic of spectacular conjecture over the millennia and you literally…if you wanted to dive deep into…spend massive amounts of time following all the differing ideas. And you can do that that and it’s even interesting, but it will not bring us to the context of why Melchizedek shows up in Hebrews. So, let’s like stick to that thread. Melchizedek’s name, Melchizedek or Melchi Zedek means King of justice or righteousness. And he was the king of Salem according the book of Genesis or Salem, which means peace. So, he was the king of justice or righteousness and he was the king of peace according to Hebrews and he’s the very first priest of the most high God or El Elyon who shows up in the Bible. So, that fact alone would surely bring him notoriety, right? The very first priest of God that shows up in the Torah would be a person that was considered important. So, we could say then that Melchizedek was the first righteous priest of God most high, who was also the king of Salem or the king of peace. So, all of that can make perfect sense to us and we can even understand why people would be fascinated by Melchizedek, but how we connect these dots to Jesus. So, Melchizedek is fascinating because he’s a priest of the most high God. In fact, he’s the first priest of the most high God that we know about, but he was not a Levite. And the tribe of Levi was the tribe that God appointed under Moses to be set aside as his priests. Melchizedek couldn’t have been a Levite because Levi had not yet been born and his priesthood couldn’t have been contrary to Mosaic law because Moses had not yet been born. So, if we jump forward about a millennia from Genesis we come to King David’s reference in Psalm 110. And in David’s time the Mosaic law had certainly been given and priests were absolutely, and indeed only Levites; however, David was from the tribe of Judah. So, why did David get to be a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek? So, like we just said, Melchizedek was a priest of the most high God wo was also the king of Salem, which means that Melchizedek was a priestly king and David was king in Jerusalem. Jeru Salem, the same city. So, in Psalm 110 it appears that David was being set apart to be a priestly king like Melchizedek, regardless of his tribal affiliation or regardless of the Mosaic law. So, interpreting it like this, then the order of Melchizedek was a special exception. And Jesus came from the line of David. And according to the book of Hebrews, like to close that loop, Jesus is a priestly king in the order of Melchizedek, a king of peace or as the writer of Hebrews says it, that person is a priest, not because he met human requirements, but because he has power that comes from a life that cannot be destroyed. The Scriptures say the following about him: You are a priest forever in the way Melchizedek was a priest. So, I mean, you know, you can Google Melchizedek and you can go all day. So, there’s a lot more nuances to the story and the mythology surrounding Melchizedek, but this gives us like a basic context for what it is were reading in the book of Hebrews, why he shows up in the book of Hebrews and why it matters to our understanding of Jesus, especially as our great high priest, right? We can say Jesus is our great high priest all day long but if we do not understand that in a Hebrew perspective, which is what we‘re trying to do as we move through the Hebrew the book of Hebrews…I mean…then…it’s just kind of a lofty thing to say: Yes, Jesus is my great high priest. But we’ve never had any other kind of high priest so we don’t even really know what we’re talking about. And, so, this is why this…this is why we explore what we explore as we go through the Scriptures and this is why Melchizedek shows up in the book of Hebrews.
Father, we thank you for your word. We thank you for the life that it brings to us, the awareness, the revelations, the aha moments, and the way that it completely does an end run around our intellect and we can’t even think straight because you’ve just invaded our hearts and spoke something true that is beyond words. Your word has the power to do that Your word has the power to reach as deep as soul and spirit. And, so, we welcome that. Come Holy Spirit we pray. Plant the words that we’ve read into our lives today. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.