The Greatness of Melchizedek in Relation to Abraham part 2
by John Lowe
Abraham Pleads with God
(7:6) This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.
You would think that Abraham would be superior to Melchizedek, but he was not. Melchizedek was a Gentile who was the priest of the most high God. I do not know where he got his information about God, nor do I know the background of this man. If anyone tries to tell you more about this man, he is guessing. Also, there is a whole lot of things that I cannot explain about the Lord Jesus because He is God. I do know that He is my Great High Priest today ─ and that is all I need to know.
It is the prerogative of the priest to bless others because his position is superior to that of an ordinary man. Therefore, since Melchizedek had blessed Abraham, he was considered superior to Abraham. In like manner, the one who receives tithes is considered greater than the one who pays tithes.
“Him who had the promises” is Abraham, of course, for God made a covenant with Abraham in which Abraham stood in for all the Israelites. But how does this relate to Abraham and the tribe of Levi? In an interesting way, Aaron and the tribe of Levi were in the loins of Abraham, yet unborn! So, when their father Abraham acknowledged the greatness of Melchizedek, the tribe of Levi was also involved. The Jewish people believed strongly in “racial solidarity,” and this is one example of it. The paying of the tithes involved not just the patriarch Abraham, but also the unborn generations in his LOINS.
(7:7) And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater.
Abraham was blessed by Melchizedek, who was better than he was. When you and I worship the Lord Jesus and bow before Him, we recognize His superiority.
(7:8) In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living.
Here people who die refers to the Levitical priests; but in the other case refers to Melchizedek.
You can offer yourself to Him, and He will receive you. When I offer myself to Him, He doesn’t get much, but I have offered myself to Him and I’m
glad He received me.
(7:9) One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham,
(7:10) because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.
The priestly tribe of Levi was in the loins of Abraham when he paid tithes to Melchizedek, and therefore, Levi also paid tithes to Melchizedek. In the same way, back in the Garden when Adam sinned, I also sinned. In Adam, all die. The reason you and I are going to die is that we are in Adam and we sinned in Adam. However, today I am perfect because I am in Christ. Do you realize that? God sees me in Christ, and I am perfect in Him. I am accepted in the beloved. My friend, this is great Scripture truth, and it is stated in simple language.
The divine truth for believers to lay hold on in verses 9 and 10 is the fact that just as Levi, long before he was born was in Abraham, so every born again child of God was in Christ when Christ went to the cross. When Jesus was beaten under the death-sentence of the Law, that death sentence also fell upon the believer.
Likewise, when Christ arose from the dead and walked out of the tomb, every true believer walked out with Him: “Even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:5-6).
When Jesus ascended, every true believer ascended too. May God help us who believe in the finished work of Christ—His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and present position according to the Scriptures—to understand the meaning of the words, “in Christ . . . Hid with Christ in God . . . seated with Him in heavenly places!”
How do you become “in Christ”? There is only one way ─ through Faith in Jesus Christ.
Special Notes and Scripture
1. From Psalm 76:2 we learn that Salem was no doubt Jerusalem. The Spiritual Jerusalem is in heaven; it is the seat of holiness and worship; the temple is there.
2. “Less,” as used here does not refer to religious or moral character; it points to rank or office.