The Priest-King


Cory Brock

Jan. 21, 2024


Disclaimer: this is an automatically generated machine transcription - there may be small errors or mistranscriptions. Please refer to the original audio if you are in any doubt.

[0:00] Now, let's read together from Genesis chapter 14. First book of the Bible, Genesis 14. In the days of Ampraphel, King of Shinar, Ariach, King of Elasar, Kedor, Lyomer, King of Elam, and Tidol, King of Goim, or that's King of Nations.

[0:22] These kings made war with Barah, the King of Sodom, Bersha, the King of Gomorrah, Sheenab, the King of Admach, Shemeber, King of Zaboyim, and the King of Bela, that is Zohar.

[0:34] And all these joined forces in the valley of Sidim, that is the Salt Sea. Twelve years they had served Kedor, Lyomer, but in the 13th year they rebelled.

[0:45] And in the 14th year, Kedor, Lyomer and the kings who were with him came and defeated the Refi'im and Ashutoroth, Karnaeim, the Zuzim and Ham, the Emim and Shavei, Curiothaim, and the Horites, and their hill country of Sayyir, as far as El-Paran on the border of the wilderness.

[1:04] Then they turned back and came to Enmishpot, that is Kadesh, and defeated all the country of the Emilokites, and also the Emorites who were dwelling in Hazizonte Mor.

[1:17] You got that? Then the King of Sodom, the King of Gomorrah, the King of Admach, the King of Zaboyim, and the King of Bela, that is Zohar, went out and they joined battle in the valley of Sidim with Kedor, Lyomer, King of Elam, Tidal, King of Goim, Amphrafel, King of Shinar, and Eriach, King of Elisar, four kings against five.

[1:44] Now the valley of Sidim was full of bitumen pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them, and the rest fled to the hill country. So the enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way, and they also took Lot, the son of Abram's brother who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way.

[2:08] Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshkol and of Anir. These were allies of Abram.

[2:20] When Abram heard that his kinsmen had been taken, Lot, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen of them, and went and pursued as far as Dan, and he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them, and pursued them to Hobach, north of Damascus.

[2:42] Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back the kinsmen, his kinsmen, Lot, with his possessions, and the women, and the people. After his return from the defeat of Kedor, Leomur, and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the valley of Shavay, that is the king's valley, and Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine.

[3:05] He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed him and said, blessed be Abram by God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand, and Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

[3:22] And the king of Sodom said to Abram, give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself. But Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lifted my hand of the Lord, God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, that I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours.

[3:39] Plus you might say, I've made Abram rich, I will take nothing, but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me, let Anir, Eshkol, and Mamre take their share.

[3:52] This is God's holy word. This past week and this week, Sunday nights, we are looking at a couple stories about Lot, Abram and Lot, Abram and his nephew Lot.

[4:04] And we saw last week that Lot and Abram were standing in the Promised Land, and they were going to divide the land up. And Abram said, you can take anywhere you want to live, Lot.

[4:15] And Lot lifted up his eyes, looked at Sodom and Gomorrah, and chose that place, because he said it looked to him like the garden of the Lord. And so we learned last week that the problem with human beings, the essence of sin, is that the eyes of our heart are broken, and that they're ultimately self-centered, and that we lift up our eyes, we look out at things in this world God has made, and we want things more than we want God himself.

[4:44] And so we see something, a creaturely thing, and we say, if I had that, that would be like the garden of the Lord to me. And we choose, we choose a garden that God did not want for us.

[4:58] And when we do that, we poison our life, and that the real problem with us is that we're so self-centered that we want the garden of the Lord without the Lord himself. And so theologians and Bible students for 2,000 years have said at the heart of what's going on right here in every single one of us is a self-centeredness that really becomes an envy, and there's an envy of God himself.

[5:24] You know, Adam and Eve had everything they could have possibly wanted in the Garden of Eden, everything, and it wasn't enough. They wanted something more. They were envious, and they were envious of God himself.

[5:35] They said, you know, I don't just want the garden you gave me, I want to be the God of the garden, and so they wanted God's divine life. And so at the heart of what's wrong with all of us is that, this self-centeredness that turns things in this world into Eden, into replacing God's garden with other things and putting ourselves as the God of the center, each garden.

[6:00] Now Lot looked out last week, I'm going to have to drink a lot of water tonight, sorry. Lot looked out last week, and he saw Sodom and Gomorrah, he said, you know, I don't need old-timey religion.

[6:17] I don't need God. I've got a great CV. I've got really good prospects. I know how to make money. I can move to Sodom and Gomorrah, and I can get rich. I can do it myself.

[6:28] I don't need the old traditionalist stuff. I don't need religion. That's what he said. And this week, that story carries on. We knew last week already that Sodom was doomed to judgment, ultimately.

[6:39] And we see Sodom under judgment this week, and in both passages we learn that if you look for paradise on your own terms, if you look for paradise on your own terms, it'll poison your life.

[6:54] And that's what happens in sin. And so we see the next steps tonight, this very wonderful passage we read, very strange, lots of hard names, but it's about some of the same things.

[7:06] And so let's think about that. We're going to see the little king, and then the big priest king, and then finally Abram's choice, and that's going to help us see what Abram and Lot teach us tonight.

[7:20] So first, the little king. All right, if you read through the Abram story, it's really focused on Abram and his family. And then all of a sudden you come to Genesis chapter 14, and it expands very widely.

[7:35] And all of a sudden we read about nine kings and international affairs and a big old war that's taking place. And so there's a very sudden genre change into international military campaigns.

[7:50] And that means that I think the writer is trying to say Abram in the meantime has become an international figure. He's become a big player in the scene in the land of Canaan.

[8:03] And here, here's the, I don't know if you call it all the details of exactly what's happening in this war, but what is happening is that there are four kings from the region Babylonia.

[8:14] Ceredo Leomur is the big one, and then he's got three other guys underneath him, and they have subjugated all the little regional kings around the Dead Sea.

[8:24] So that's both in the Promised Land and just outside of the Promised Land. The king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah are a couple of those. So there's the big Babylonia kings and then the little vassal kings.

[8:35] And the little vassal kings around the Dead Sea have been servants of the big Babylonia kings for a long, long time, 15 years. And all of a sudden the king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah and these guys, they say, you know, we're going to break away from Babylon.

[8:50] We're going to push back. We're going to fight back. And so they revolt against the Babylonian kings. And the Babylonian kings say, well, we need to go put these guys in their place.

[9:00] And so the Babylonian kings raise up an army and they go to the Dead Sea and they destroy all these little vassal kings. And it was easy. And we read that the king of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their people, they fell into all these tar pits trying to get away from the Babylonian kings.

[9:16] It was all a big mess. And in the midst of it, Abram's nephew Lot just so happens to get captured. So Lot and his family are taken away.

[9:28] Now remember last week we said, if you were here, we talked about how Abram gets called to the Promised Land. And the first thing that happens is he goes straight down to Egypt and then his wife becomes a slave of Pharaoh.

[9:42] So the people of God are enslaved by Pharaoh. And then to get the people of God out of slavery, God does what? He sends a plague. And then because of the plague, Abram's able to take his people out of Egypt.

[9:53] It sounds a lot like something that's going to happen later, the Exodus story. And then the very next story, this story, all of a sudden Babylon captures one of God's people, Lot.

[10:04] And now Babylon's got a hold of Lot. And Lot's got to be one of God's people. He's got to be a rescued from Babylon. And so Abram goes to rescue his nephew from these Babylonian kings.

[10:16] Now here's the point. The text is very specific. Abram takes, it tells us 318 men, verse 14, very specific.

[10:28] Now if you've got five Babylonian kings, four Babylonian kings coming from the land of Babylon, the great kingdom, the oldest kingdom, they had more than that.

[10:40] They had a lot more than that. And you see, you should, when you really think about it carefully, you should see there's a reason he tells us, there's 318 men because there is no way on earth that a guy with 318 men should go conquer the four Babylonian kings.

[10:56] And yet he does. And he saves his nephew. And the point of the passage is to say Abram has become a king. God had called him out of Babylon and promised him, you're going to be great.

[11:08] You're going to be a great man. And I'm going to make you into a great nation. And it's happening. And Abram's become this great international figure who now has eclipsed the Babylonian kings.

[11:20] There are nine kings in the story so far. And Abram has the smallest army. He's just a clan head. And yet it's saying he is greater than them all.

[11:31] God has made him greater than every single one of them. He's greater than Pharaoh. He's greater than Babylon. He's greater than Sodom. And the point of the passage is to say he's totally eclipsed.

[11:46] Abram is a very great king. He's got the power to defeat Babylon. And he does it. And then all of a sudden Melchizedek walks in the room and Abram is eclipsed.

[12:00] The text turns our attention to Melchizedek and says, who's Abram? Melchizedek is everything. He becomes the center and the main figure, the great king.

[12:11] Melchizedek fades. He's seconded. He's dwarfed. He's upstaged. If you look with me down to verse 17, look at how strange Melchizedek's entrance is in this passage.

[12:22] It says that in verse 17, after Abram defeats Kedor Leomor, the Babylonian kings, the king of Sodom went out to meet Abram in the valley of Shavay, the king's valley.

[12:37] Now verse 18 to 20, if you have a Bible, you can see are all about Melchizedek. But if you just cover that up with your hand, it says the king of Sodom, verse 17, went out to meet Abram in the valley.

[12:49] And then look at verse 21, and the king of Sodom said to Abram. So if you cover up the whole Melchizedek section, it makes total sense.

[13:00] The king of Sodom went out to meet Abram in the valley, verse 17, verse 21, and the king of Sodom said. But yet there's this interlude.

[13:10] The king of Sodom came out, but there was Melchizedek. Abram, the great victor over everybody, came out, but there was Melchizedek. And so Abram is eclipsed.

[13:21] He's seconded. He's the great king, but he's not really. And so we see here that this great king becomes a little king as soon as this strange figure, Melchizedek, comes to the show.

[13:32] Now here's what we learn. Genesis 14 I think shows us that when you come to the Bible into the Old Testament, you can't come to the Old Testament simply looking for help with your faith, simply looking for help on a personal level with self-improvement and even self-improvement when it comes to your Christian faith.

[13:58] In other words, you come to the Old Testament and you see that there are a lot of great examples, and Abram is one of them. Here we have a great example of what happens when God blesses somebody.

[14:09] And you can come to the Old Testament and say, look, look at what happens. Abram was so blessed by God, he was faithful, and God gave him this ability, this power with 318 men to do such great things.

[14:21] Look at what faith can do for you. You can be blessed like this. And there really are great examples of faith in the Old Testament. Hebrews 11 says, by faith, Abraham did so much.

[14:32] And so come and look at him and learn from his faith. But when you come to Genesis 14, one of the things you realize is that while Abram was a great man of faith, the text is trying to get you to say, but he's nothing.

[14:45] He's great, but he's not the thing. He's not what you're looking for. When you come to the Old Testament, you're not looking for great examples of faith, even though they're there, you're looking for something much more than that.

[14:57] And that's why in the Gospels, in the Gospel of Luke, after the resurrection, Jesus was walking down the road to Emmaus with some of his followers.

[15:08] And he turned to them in their misunderstanding. And he said, the whole Old Testament is about me. And he said that the law of Moses, it said that for the rest of the day, he explained to them how the law of Moses, that's the first five books, and then the prophets, which is the next big section of the Old Testament, and then the writings, which is the Psalms and all the wisdom literature.

[15:34] It said he explained how it was all about him. And that means that when you come to this passage, it's no secret. We read it, we sang it in Psalm 110, we read about it in Hebrews 5, 6, and 7, that Melchizedek is deeply connected to Jesus Christ.

[15:53] And that means when you come to Genesis 14, you're at first to say, wow, Abraham is really great. And then wait, I don't come to the Old Testament for this. I come to find Jesus, because Jesus told me that in Luke 24.

[16:08] And right here when I come to Melchizedek, it's so true. I read it. He's right here. There's something. It's something about Jesus right here. Now that's the first thing. Now the second thing, not only do we see the little king and the bigger king, but then secondly, then let's look at the big king, Melchizedek, the priest king himself.

[16:28] All right, like I just said, it's no secret that the New Testament connects Melchizedek directly to Jesus. Hebrews 5, Hebrews 6, Hebrews 7 makes a lot of that.

[16:42] Who is this guy, Melchizedek, that shows up here? One of the great late biblical scholars, Mike Heiser, Old Testament scholar, he says that Melchizedek is the most difficult subject in all of the Bible.

[16:59] All right, so we got 10 minutes. We'll get it taken care of. No, there's so much here we can't say about Melchizedek.

[17:10] But what can we say? All right, here's what we can say. Who is he? If you want to go get a job today, some of you are job hunting right now, you've got to have marketable skills. You've got to have a good CV in this modern world we live in.

[17:23] And that's the same in the Old Testament. There is an Old Testament CV. And the Old Testament CV is mainly two things. Who is your dad and how much land do you own? That's really the basic things people are looking for.

[17:37] He has a CV. You can learn about who they are from their CV in the Old Testament. Who is this man? Hebrews 7, 3 says this about him. It says it's an argument from silence.

[17:47] He comes to us in Genesis 14. Hebrews 7 says, and he has no family, no father, no mother, no burial place.

[17:57] And this is what Hebrews 7 says. He says he has no beginning of days or end of days, but he is one like the Son of God.

[18:08] So we don't know much about him, but he doesn't have a beginning and he doesn't have an end. That's what we're told. He has no father. He has no mother. He has no birthday nor burial day.

[18:19] From where does he come? And the text tells us here in Hebrews 7, 2, we're told he comes from Salem. And Salem is in the Hebrew text doesn't have vowels originally.

[18:32] So if you read it, it'll just say S-L-M, which are the letters for Shalom. And so when you come to the New Testament, it says he is the king of peace, Shalom.

[18:42] He's the king of Salem, this place called Salem. But one thing we learn here is that he comes, they are standing next to actually Shavay, the king's valley. And Shavay, the king's valley is right next to the future site of Jerusalem.

[18:59] And so this is the king of Salem. And that Salem will one day be called Jerusalem, Jerusalem. And so he is the first earliest king we know of, of the great city before it ever was a city called Jerusalem, also called the city of Shalom, peace.

[19:18] All right? So that's a little bit about where he comes from. And then what is he? We're told he's a king. Now that's built right into his name. So Malak Zidek, Melchizedek, means king of righteousness or king of my righteousness.

[19:33] And so here's what we have. We're told he is named my king of righteousness. He comes out of nowhere. He doesn't have a dad or a mom. He never was born and he never dies.

[19:45] His name is righteousness. He's the king of the city of peace. And at the same time, he is the priest of the Most High God, El Elyon, the priest of God. We're told. And so this is this guy, this interlude who makes Abram look so secondary.

[20:02] He is the priest king of Jerusalem without beginning, without end. Does it sound familiar? Now who is he?

[20:13] If you look at inter-testamental studies on this, you know, what the Jewish scholars were saying about him from the Old Testament before the New Testament, they all thought that Malak Zidek most often was an archangel like Michael or Gabriel.

[20:27] That's one of the more common readings. When you come to the book of Hebrews, Hebrews says he's a shadow. You don't know. All of a sudden, Hebrews kind of kicks the door open and lets them light in.

[20:41] And Hebrews says he is a type. He's a forerunner. He's a prefigurement of one like the Son of Man that was to come, Jesus Christ.

[20:51] Now is this the Son of God shown up in the middle of this passage before Jesus, before the Son of God would ever take on human flesh?

[21:02] Maybe. I don't know. Probably. But we know that what Hebrews says is Jesus Christ comes after the order of this man, Malak Zidek, according to the order of Malak Zidek.

[21:17] Now what does that mean? And we'll wrap up this point like this. What does that mean? And it means this. It means lots, but just two. The first thing it means is that we said last time that the book of Genesis is really headlined by Genesis 315, that when sin enters the world, there is a promise from God that one day there would be a son, a seed that would crush the head of the serpent, that would kill sin and death forever, that there's a baby coming, a Messiah that will fix everything that was broken.

[21:52] And so we're meant to be in the book of Genesis tracing that. Who is it? Who's the seed? Is it Abram? Is it Lot? Last week we realized, no, it is not Lot. And this week we come and say, but could it be Abram?

[22:04] Look what he did. 318 men, he defeats Babylon. He's greater than Pharaoh. It could be Abram. And then all of a sudden, Malak Zidek shows up and we say, no, it's not Abram.

[22:16] He's upstage too. And we learn that the Messiah we are looking for must be one according to the order of Malak Zidek, like Malak Zidek.

[22:27] That's what Hebrews tells us. Now what does that mean? That's we're looking for a king, a king of peace, a king of Shalom, a king of Jerusalem.

[22:39] We're looking for one. Remember that there are 11 total kings in this passage and Abram is better than nine of them, but there is one that is better than the rest.

[22:50] We're being told the order of Malak Zidek means there is a king that is above all kings. And you come to the New Testament and you realize, there he is. Jesus Christ is the king above all kings.

[23:01] He's one after the order of Malak Zidek. It's been prophesied for this long. You couldn't make this up. You couldn't write it. You couldn't make it up if it was fiction. It's real.

[23:11] He really is. King above all kings, one after the order of Malak Zidek. We need one that has no beginning or end. And we come in and we learn about Jesus Christ, who is the God-man, divine, forever eternal, no beginning, no end.

[23:29] There's one more. Secondly, he's also, we learn he has to be the priest king, not just a king, but also a priest. And we read about that here with Malak Zidek. It says that, verse 18, he was priest of God most high.

[23:45] And then he does all these priestly things. Now here's the very important point to really, I think, open this passage up in the Old Testament.

[23:57] One of the things we see is that the king and the priest can never be both king and priest. There was David. You know, David wasn't allowed to be a priest.

[24:07] There's the line of Aaron, the priest, and they're not allowed to be the kings. And in the Old Testament, in God's people, God said, these have to be separate offices, kings and priests. There's only one time, one time where we find somebody who is both king and priest.

[24:24] Simultaneously, the priest king, Malak Zidek, and then the New Testament comes and says, who's the Messiah going to be? It's going to be one that's in the order of Malak Zidek, one who is both priest and king simultaneously.

[24:36] Could there be a priest and a king, one who does both roles at the same time? And the New Testament says, yes, it's Jesus Christ. He is both priest and king.

[24:46] Saul got in trouble in 1 Samuel 13 as the king for making sacrifices like a priest, and God cursed him for that.

[24:58] You come to the song we sang earlier, Psalm 110, and it says that David looked up into the heavens and he saw the Lord God speak to his Lord, a second Lord.

[25:11] And he said, and I saw that Lord as a priest after the order of Malak Zidek in the heavenly realm. In other words, David realized, he said, there is a second Yahweh God, the Father, but also the Son standing there, and he is both priest and king in heaven forever.

[25:28] He said, I saw him, and he looked like Malak Zidek. He reminds me of what I read in Genesis 14. And then Hebrews comes and says, oh, that's Jesus. That's Jesus Christ.

[25:39] There's five, six, and seven. Now in Genesis 14 here, Abram is a weary soldier, a weary warrior coming off the battlefield.

[25:53] And he comes to Malak Zidek and Malak Zidek gives him a feast of bread and wine. And in the Old Testament, the Levites, the priest would give bread and wine after the sacrifices.

[26:09] It reminds us of the Passover meal, this priestly work. And then Malak Zidek blesses Abraham. He gives him a benediction. And when you come to the temple in the Old Testament, the priest would share bread with you, and then after the end of the sacrifice, he would lift up his hand and bless you and give you a blessing, a benediction.

[26:28] And then you would turn and give what? You would give your tithe to the priest. And before the priestly institution was ever invoked here in the Old Testament, Abram gives his tithe to Malak Zidek.

[26:41] Now listen, Abram came to this guy, Malak Zidek, not knowing exactly who he was, but knowing I want to be blessed by him. I want to sit at his table.

[26:53] I want to drink his wine and eat his bread. I want his hand to come over my head and pronounce over me that the Lord sees me and knows me and loves me. He wanted it.

[27:04] And he said, he knew that he was standing in the presence of something truly great that he could not understand. And that's because he was standing in the presence of the order of the Son of God.

[27:18] He knew it. This is exactly what we need, and here's why. A priest king.

[27:28] A king is God's emissary of justice to the people. When you break the law, the king brings justice to the land.

[27:42] The king establishes the law and orders the land. The king is the one who brings judgment. That's the role of the king to establish justice in all the land.

[27:53] But the priest, the priest is there for when you break God's law, you break the king's command and you cannot stand before the king lest you be judged forever.

[28:05] You need a priest. You need a priest who will bring a sacrifice for you before God and say, and represent you and say before God, this one is repentant.

[28:15] Forgive this one. Do not bring the judgment and justice of the king upon this one. Instead, tell the king, show this one mercy, show this one love, show this one grace.

[28:27] You need a king to establish justice. You need a priest. Otherwise, you'll never be able to stand before the king. What if there could be one that was both priest and king at the same time?

[28:38] One pastor said it like this, the king is like a strong father. The priest like a merciful, compassionate mother. In the way God set it up in some ways in the Old Testament, could there be one, one man who was both?

[28:54] Yes. It's Jesus Christ, Hebrews tells us. He's the lion of the tribe of Judah, the great strong king, and he's the lamb who can take away the sins of the world.

[29:07] He's both king and priest simultaneously. He's both at the same time. Look, this is the savior we have. If you only have a king, every single one of us as sinners would stand only in just judgment.

[29:26] If you only have a king, if you only have a priest, there would be no one to finally put all things wrong in the world back to rights.

[29:37] You need a king that can bring shalom. You need a priest that can get you to stand before the king and write relationship. That's why you need the priest king. You need one who is both for you at the very same time.

[29:50] In John 17, Jesus Christ lifts up his voice to the Lord and says about the people he was about to die for, I've prayed for you.

[30:08] We call that the high priestly prayer, meaning he said, I'm doing this priestly thing for you before the Lord right now. I'm interceding.

[30:18] I am bringing you back to God. I'm preasting for you. In the very next passage, he goes to the cross and the king goes and gives himself as the lamb the sacrifice.

[30:32] The king presented his own body as a priestly sacrifice for you. The king is all about justice. The priest is all about mercy. At the point of the cross, justice and mercy kiss.

[30:45] They come together and that's our salvation. The priest king, one after the order of Melchizedek. Now finally, thirdly, Abrams choice.

[30:57] At the very end of the passage, verse 21, something happens to Abram. And that's that after he has met the priest king, he has seen the need in his life for both mercy and justice.

[31:14] The king of Sodom says to him, give me the people, take the goods for yourself. And Abram says to the king of Sodom, I will not take anything from you.

[31:27] I promise the Lord lest you think that you made me rich. Now what's happening here is that Abram is being confronted with the anti Melchizedek.

[31:39] He's that remember, this is the king of Sodom. We know what's about to happen to Sodom. You see, what's happening here is that the king of Sodom was standing the whole time watching what Melchizedek said to Abram.

[31:52] And Abram gave a tenth. He bowed the knee. He recognized Melchizedek's greatness. And now the king of Sodom saying, give me some of that. Give me a tenth too.

[32:03] Bow the knee to me. In other words, the king of Sodom is saying to him, look, I know that Melchizedek promises you a lot and a benediction and a blessing and all these things and justice and mercy and all that.

[32:15] But if you will give me a tenth, a tithe, I'll give you the world. And you see that Abram is standing all over again in Adam's place.

[32:27] And the serpent has entered the king's valley. And he said, yeah, yeah, you've talked to Melchizedek. You know, God's made you these promises. He's talked to you about his mercy and his justice and his blessing.

[32:38] He's given you bread and wine, but if you will bow your knee to me, I will give you the world. Now Abram withstood it this time. He did.

[32:49] He had a choice and he made the right choice. But remember last week he gave his wife away to Pharaoh to save his own skin. And a couple of chapters later you're going to read about Abram give his wife away to another Pharaoh again to save his own skin.

[33:06] And remember that in Matthew's gospel, Jesus Christ stood in the wilderness. He stood in the wilderness and the serpent, the king of Sodom came to him and said, if you will give me a tithe, if you will bow the knee to me, I will release you from this misery.

[33:23] I will give you the whole world. And Jesus Christ was faithful. He was faithful for you. And that's why he could be such a great priest king. His sacrifice could be so efficacious because he is divine king and righteous priest.

[33:38] He did it in every way that we didn't do it. He stood up against the serpent, the king of Sodom in every way that we never did. And he died for you nevertheless. He didn't deserve it. And that's why he can be the great priest king for you.

[33:50] Now today, tonight, and we'll close with this, we have a choice. If you're a Christian tonight, if you're following Jesus, in some senses the whoop and whoop, the daily trenches of the Christian life are that in some sense you wake up every morning having to stand in this valley and be confronted once again by this choice.

[34:15] To be able to stand before the serpent, before evil and temptation and all the things that are being flung at you in life and say, I have decided to follow Jesus no turning back, no turning back.

[34:30] Today, today I am a product and an object of love because of my great priest king. I believe the gospel today. So I'm not going to eat the fruit.

[34:40] I'm not going to follow the serpent. I'm not going to listen to the king of Sodom. I'm here for the fight. I'm here for the fight. Abram in this moment, he made the right decision.

[34:50] He had a choice. And every day in the Christian life we wake up and we have to re-enter the fight that I'm not going to give it away to the king of Sodom.

[35:01] That I'm here, I'll say it like this, the last word. If Jesus, look, if Jesus Christ is really after the order, in the order of Melchizedek, meaning he has no beginning or end, he is the king of kings, meaning that every single earthly government for all of history is incredibly relative, no matter what happens in America in 2024.

[35:26] If he really is the merciful priest, we're at the cross in him, justice and mercy kissed. And he came up from the dead. And God said, all authority has been given to you forever.

[35:37] Look, that's a big deal. You don't get to be, you don't get to say meh about it. It's a huge claim that he's after the order of, he's in the order of Melchizedek.

[35:50] It's enormous. It means he really is the king of kings. And that means that we've got to give our life away to him because Abram ate the bread and wine of Melchizedek.

[36:03] And Jesus comes and says, eat my body and drink my blood. Take and eat and follow me. Where in your life have you been serving another king?

[36:18] Let's pray together. Lord, we ask that you would expose us tonight, yet rebuild us, that we would see the great, great mercy of the priest king, that we have such a compassionate savior who would let death overtake him so that mercy could satisfy justice.

[36:46] We thank you when we look at the Bible for the unbelievable mystery in some ways of things like Melchizedek.

[36:58] And we look at that and see only you, God, could have orchestrated such a history. Only you, God, could have written such a word. And so help use this, Lord, tonight to strengthen our faith that we would really see how serious and real all this is and you are.

[37:14] So I pray tonight that somebody would see that and give their life away and that the rest of us as Christians would be renewed in giving our life away to you. In Christ's name we pray. Amen.