Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Hebrews 7:1-3: For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.
Melchizedek, king of Salem, must have been a very important king to be honored by Abraham. He was. And as the writer to the Hebrews says, the name, "Melchizedek" says it all.
A king, by virtue of the "Office" or "Position" deserves respect, adoration, and honor. A king also deserves the "tribute" or "offering" of his people. Today, we call the tribute and offering, "taxes." If you have noticed, I haven't mentioned anything about the character or qualities of the king. That is because you gave because of the position, or office, not the person in it.
The simple translation of the Hebrew word, "Zedek" is "righteousness." Yet the meaning of the word goes much deeper than that. It is "right-ness," "being right," "being just," and "being even handed." "Zedek" is much more besides.
So for a man to be named, "King of Righteousness" means something. Who does that remind you of? God of course. Jesus specifically, as the writer says. No other human being can claim the name, the Office, or the personhood. ONLY JESUS fits that claim. And there is one more thing. What is the country that Jesus rules? It is the kingdom of Salem.
The Hebrew word is, "Shalom." It is translated into Greek and English as, "Salem." And this peace is more than what we use it for. Peace is more than the stopping of violence, war, hatred, and fear. Peace is the source of the end of violence, war, and hatred. True peace chases away fear. Therefore peace is in the nature of the person and not in the actions.
And true peace comes from faith and trust in God who drives out the sinful nature and gives righteousness and peace to all who believe in Him.
Abraham knew Melchizedek, the King of Righteousness of Salem. Abraham knew the office Melchizedek held, the quality of person, and the place where he reigned. Of course, Abraham was going to give a tenth to the King.
And that is why we give the tenth. We know our God, our Savior, our Redeemer, and our King. We know the office of God and the place where He is King. And we give.
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.