In chapter 14 Abram meets Melchizedek, experiences the bread and the wine, pays tithes, and is blessed. Not surprisingly in chapter 15 the Lord God makes covenant with Abram eight years after beginning his walk.

ABRAHAM, THE FRIEND OF GOD
by Delbert Young

Meeting Melchizedek

 Meeting Melchizedek

Meeting Melchizedek

Scriptures: Genesis 13:18, Genesis 14:12-15, Galatians 6:1-2, 1 John 4:20, Genesis 14:18-20, John 8:56, 1 Timothy 2:5

Genesis 13:18 Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD. 

1. An Altar Unto The Lord
Abram walked through the land and came to Hebron. Interestingly, the Hebrew word for Hebron is Chebrown meaning the “seat of association”. Abram moved from Bethel Beyth El meaning the “house of God” to Hebron, “the seat of association”. My son is my “associate” in this ministry. He occupies a place (seat) of both responsibility and blessing of the ministry. Abram moved from a place in the house to a seat of association. Abram now has a responsibility, but will be entitled to more benefits from God.
In our walk with the Lord we will spiritually move on and on. We see this in the move from Bethel to Hebron. In all places of our walk we build altars. The difference is more and more responsibility for the kingdom is acquired. We become associates in the kingdom as we occupy the seat of association. We sit with Christ in his throne (Eph 2:6). More is expected of us in the seat. However, with this responsibility more blessings are given. It is like getting a “raise” at work. If we are not acquiring more and more blessings from God it could be that we are not moving toward the seat of association.
We learned earlier how Abram, after experiencing a visitation from the Lord God, would build an altar. The altar was not built to provoke the Lord to come bless Abraham. Rather the altar was a place set aside to visit the Lord. Too often we built an altar and hope the Lord will appear and visit us. That is not the purpose of the altar. The altar is the place built to visit the Lord. In our hearts we need to build a place to visit the Lord. This is not a place to convince Him to bless us, but rather a place to simply visit as a man does with his friend.

Genesis 14:12 And they took Lot, Abrams brothers son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
Genesis 14:14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. 15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. 16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.
 

2. Abram heard that his brother was taken captive
In Genesis chapter 14 we read of the first war recorded in the scriptures. We will also read of the first experience of communion and the first experience of tithing. Interestingly all these “firsts” include Abram the friend of God. Abraham is the father of the faithful (Rom 4:16). He fathered many elements of our walk with the Lord.
Concerning the war we read about Abram and his nephew Lot. Abram became involved because Lot had been taken captive. Abram was not only the friend of God (Jam 2:23). He would also be the type of person anyone would want as a friend. Abram took 318 men trained in his own house (14:14) and smote those who took Lot captive. Abram recovered Lot, Lots family, and all the goods the war lords had taken.
The church fails miserably in this area. We have all seen a brother or sister taken captive by the war lord Satan. It may be a fault or a sin that holds them. What did we do about it? Usually we say something like, “That is so bad. I will pray for them. That poor family….” What Abram did was put together an army to go get his brother back. The thing that is so wonderful is these were trained in Abrams house. The scripture says,
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (2) Bear ye one anothers burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Spiritual people “restore” those taken captive. They are equipped and trained in their house. As a pastor I have not done a good job at this. We need to learn how and teach others how to go to war for our brothers and sister taken captive. We see a person taken captive and we hope they work out of it, but we really do not know how to go and get them. It was not only Lot taken. It was Lot and his family. That is what happens when a person is taken captive by the war lord Satan. Their entire family is taken captive. We really need to be a friend and go get them. We should train up a house to do this.
We learn that a friend of God is also a responsible person in more relationships than the relationship with the Lord. This is true even in relationships in which we once experienced strife. The people of God are responsible not only to God but also to man. We are to love the Lord our God, but also to love our neighbor as our self (Mat 22:37-39). We are to forgive even as we are forgiven (Mat 6:12, 14-15). We all know these are easy words to say, but never easy to practice. At times it is far easier to love God than to love people. During our walk with the Lord we will have opportunity to come to the aid of captive relatives and friends. We must respond. John says,
1 John 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

Friends will show up when there is a problem. Especially when the problem has taken us captive. The enemy will send war lords that will take us captive. Those problems will take our families and everything we have acquired unless we have friends. We need friends to rescue us. Problems can take us out of the kingdom. We need friends who are a friend of God who will, if necessary, put together an army to rescue us.

Genesis 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: 20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

3. Melchizedek king of Salem
Melchizedek is referred to as the king of Salem. Who is Melchizedek? The writer of Hebrews said this Melchizedek was the Lord (Heb 7:1-3). This is best seen by what Melchizedek did and also by Abrams response to Melchizedek. First Melchizedek brought forth bread and wine. Next Melchizedek blessed Abram. Then Abraham gave his tithe to Melchizedek.
In one of the many confrontations the Lord had with the Pharisees, our Lord Jesus referred to an encounter He had with Abraham.
John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

We know Abram was not alive in the day of Christ. Thus Christ must have visited Abraham in the day of Abraham. The covenant of Christ was instituted by the sacraments of bread and wine (Mat 26:26-28). We are to eat the flesh of Christ and drink the blood of Christ. As Christ offered the bread and wine to the apostles, He, a millennia before, offered the elements to Abram. Abram saw it, received it, and rejoiced in Christ’s day. Abraham was blessed.
Abram then paid tithes of all to Melchizedek. Incorporated in this sacrament and tithe is a blessing for Abram and for the God of Abram. We see that Melchizedek was a mediator between Abram and the God of Abram. Jesus is the mediator between God and man.
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Much could be said about tithes, but why? The only people who argue about tithing are people who are looking for a way out of supporting the kingdom. It is sufficient to say that tithing was not only a part of the Law of Moses. Jesus said we ought to tithe (Mat 23:23) as well as doing our works of righteousness. I do not object to helping people understand tithes and offerings and alms. I do have great problems arguing with people about tithing. Before the law Abraham tithed and Jacob tithed. Jesus said you ought to tithe. Paul said give abundantly (2Co 9:6). If a person is not going to tithe then give abundantly which would be at least a tithe. Anything less would be going backward and not a better covenant. Abraham forever combined communion (bread and wine), blessing God, and the tithe together.
In the church I now serve, we partake of the covenant communion sacrament each week. The frequency of taking communion is scripturally left to us (1Co 11:25). So we do it each week. We come to the altar and receive communion. Each week we preach the cross of Christ for Jesus said do this in remembrance. We remind the people what the blood and body has done for us. People are forgiven and can be healed at the altars. We bless the Lord God. After receiving communion we place our tithe into baskets as we return to our seats. Our communion service and time of giving is taken from the experience of Abram we here study.
In chapter 14 Abram meets Melchizedek, experiences the bread and the wine, pays tithes, and is blessed. Not surprisingly in chapter 15 the Lord God makes covenant with Abram eight years after beginning his walk.

4. What can we apply to our lives from this lesson?
a. We should move into a seat of association with the Lord. We should be growing in the Lord. Growing involves taking on more and more responsibilities. What responsibilities do we take on for the kingdom of God? Do we take on any responsibilities that advance the kingdom in our area?

b. What do we do when our brother is taken captive? Abram put together an entire army that he trained to war! Abram rescued his brother Lot from the snare of the enemy. When our brothers and sisters are taken captive we call upon the army to get the brother or sister back. The problem today is believers are not trained and if not cautious will themselves be taken captive in the attempt to help the brother.

c. Melchizedek served Abraham bread and wine which are the elements of communion. There was a blessing by Melchizedek and then Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek. Woven together are communion, tithing, and blessing. The next chapter begins by saying “After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision.” “After these thing….” The “things” referred to are communion, blessing, and tithes. The “word of the Lord” comes in a special way to those who receive communion, bless the Lord, and tithe.

Other Related Sermons:

Plan Pruning Rainbow sermon notes

Placed in Time sermon notes and audio

Abraham Acquaintance Or Friend? sermon notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young