Thursday, January 08, 2009

Genesis 14: The First War and the Feast of the Kings.

"We have here an account of the first war that ever we read of in scripture, which (though the wars of the nations make the greatest figure in history) we should not have had the history of if Abram and Lot had not been concerned in it." -- Matthew Henry
War in Canaan. Four kings against five. Canaan subjected by Chedorlaomer. And in the midst of the battle Sodom is looted and Lot gets captured. And so, The Man goes to war – Abram and his 318 against the all conquering Chedorlaomer and he wins. These are the first wars of men.
  • In victory he finds himself meeting Melchizedek, the Priest-King of Salem (Jerusalem) who blesses Abram and the LORD and receives a tithe from Abram (where future priests would have to require tithe from people). These two kings eat bread and drink wine together – as another king will one day do with his people. This is a priest in an order of his own, though another priest will come like him to mediate forever. He is like the Son of God.
"The first war, which darkens history's page, is ended. Abraham is moving homewards—crowned with success—laden with spoil. Suddenly a scene breaks on us—marvelous in what it reveals—marvelous in what it conceals. A personage, who is all wonder, stands on the stage of Scripture. His name bids us mark him well. It is a full Gospel-note. He is high in earthly dignity, for he is Salem's king. He is high in holy function, for he is the priest of the most high God. Do we ask his lineage? It is shrouded in a veil, which we may not pierce. Do we seek the morning of his days? His sun never rises. Do we seek the evening of his life? His sun never sets. He only appears in full-blown stature, and in meridian blaze. So obscure is he in sublimity, so sublime in obscurity, that it is no surprise to hear the question, Can this be merely man? He comes forward with neither empty hand nor silent lip. He strengthens the patriarch with refreshment for the way... Scripture pauses not here. It teaches us, that all these lines of mystery are lineaments of Jesus" - Henry Law
  • King Abram also meets with the King of Sodom who offers him some of what God has promised. Abram refuses not wanting Sodom to be able to claim credit for what God has promised. One day another king will be offered his inheritance by a tyrant and he too will decline. That king, Jesus, will not receive the world from the devil but rather will take it through his death. How do you get your inheritance?
Abram will be back in the vicinity of Salem again before too long – taking his Offspring to Mount Moriah (the future temple mount). For now he continues to wait, victorious, with his nephew but without a child...

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