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Faithful representatives

Without a doubt, the inferior is blessed by the superior. In the one case, men who will die receive a tenth, but in the other case, Scripture testifies that he lives. And in a sense Levi himself, who receives a tenth, has paid a tenth through Abraham, for he was still within his ancestor when Melchizedek met him. Hebrews 7:7-10 CSB

These last four verses will wrap up this point by the author on the greatness of Melchizedek. As we read yesterday, Abraham offered up a tithe to Melchizedek, and in response, Melchizedek blessed Abraham. “Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine; he was a priest to God Most High. He blessed him and said: Abram is blessed by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth” (Genesis 14:19-20). This is why the author of Hebrews says, “Without a doubt, the inferior is blessed by the superior.” Now, in verse 8, the author uses the silence of Scripture, meaning what is not mentioned, to illustrate a point of Melchizedek’s greatness. In the Old Testament, priests would live, serve for a few years, and die. Then, a new priest from the line of Levi would take over, and this process would continue for centuries. Yet, Melchizedek is in a class of his own, a lineage of his own. There are records of succession of the line of Levi, yet Melchizedek was singular. We will read later on how the author uses Melchizedek as an illustration for Jesus Christ being eternal. The final example of how Melchizedek is great is how the Levitical priests, “in a sense,” tithed to Melchizedek. The author includes this phrase, “in a sense,” to not be taken too literally, but rather, to give a hypothetical idea. Since Abraham is the patriarch of Israel, and Levi is a great grandson of Abraham, as Thomas Lea writes, “Biblical thought accepted the idea that an ancestor contained within himself all of his descendants,” hence, the Levitical priests, through Abraham, offered up a tithe to Melchizedek in that moment, “for he was still within his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.” The Bible is full of examples of an “ancestor contained within himself all of his descendants.” There are representatives whose actions affected the lives of their descendants. For example, Joshua’s peace treaty with the Gibeonites bounded the Israelites for centuries (see Joshua 9:15). The interaction between Melchizedek and Abraham had an impact in the life of Isaac. The action that Abraham had taken to offer Isaac to God was a demonstration of his previous encounter with Melchizedek. And when God had seen the faithfulness of Abraham, God blessed him and his descendants. Our actions today as well as our influence will impact the next generation. So, let us be careful as to what legacy we are leaving for God blesses those who will remain faithful to Him.


Isaac De Guzman


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