Sunday, 7th June 10.30am Order of Service

WELCOME

PSALM 92:1-4.(1107)

1To render thanks unto the Lord

it is a comely thing,

And to thy name, O thou most High,

due praise aloud to sing.

2Thy loving–kindess to shew forth

when shines the morning light;

And to declare thy faithfulness

with pleasure ev’ry night,

3On a ten–stringed instrument,

upon the psaltery,

And on the harp with solemn sound,

and grave sweet melody.

4For thou, Lord, by thy mighty works

hast made my heart right glad;

And I will triumph in the works

which by thine hands were made.

READINGGenesis 14

14 At the time when Amraphel was king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam and Tidal king of Goyim,

2 these kings went to war against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboyim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar).

3 All these latter kings joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Dead Sea Valley).

4 For twelve years they had been subject to Kedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.

5 In the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him went out and defeated the Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim

6 and the Horites in the hill country of Seir, as far as El Paran near the desert.

7 Then they turned back and went to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and they conquered the whole territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who were living in Hazezon Tamar.

8 Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboyim and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) marched out and drew up their battle lines in the Valley of Siddim

9 against Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goyim, Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar – four kings against five.

10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits, and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some of the men fell into them and the rest fled to the hills.

11 The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food; then they went away.

12 They also carried off Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom.

13 A man who had escaped came and reported this to Abram the Hebrew. Now Abram was living near the great trees of Mamre the Amorite, a brother of Eshkol and Aner, all of whom were allied with Abram.

14 When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan.

15 During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus.

16 He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.

17 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).

18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High,

19 and he blessed Abram, saying,

‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth.

20

And praise be to God Most High,
who delivered your enemies into your hand.’

Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, ‘Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.’

22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, ‘With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth,

23 that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, “I made Abram rich.”

24 I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me – to Aner, Eshkol and Mamre. Let them have their share.’

SERMONMelchizedek

The Bible is full of surprises. Not least the first 11 verses of this 14th chapter of Genesis.

Notice the one significant omission throughout this period in history is the Name of God. Does that sound familiar to you with regard to our nation today?

It is only when we get to verse 12 that we find the Biblical focus of the chapter. In the midst of all these battles – they also carried off Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom.

That was the event which called on Abram’s intervention.

Lot chose Sodom, lived near it, lived IN it (vs 12 here), became one of the Sodomites – even calling them brothers at a later stage. Yet he still has the protection of God on his life because he is related to Abram.

Abram got up a posse to fight against the local kings – but this battle was different. The battles of the early part of the chapter are secular battles. This was the LORD’s battle.

2 kings are mentioned in the latter part of the chapter and they are contrasted. The King of Sodom – a money-grabbing king, out for his pound of flesh (vs 21). And Melchizedek – who is a priest king.

Melchizedek is one of the most enigmatic characters in the Bible. He just appears as if from nowhere – and disappears just as quickly.

The Psalmist, in that great royal Psalm 110, sees Melchizedek as a priest with an eternally valid priesthood.

But it is the author of Hebrews (7:1-7) who goes deeper.

Jesus was a priest like Melchizedek. Jesus our great High Priest and our King.

We learn here about love and devotion – we learn about spiritual warfare – we learn from contrasting Melchizedek with the King of Sodom – we also learn here about faith and action, but the central theme must be that which the New Testament takes up as central – namely the nature of this priest-king Melchizedek and how he points forward to the coming of the real priest-king for all the world. If we allow Scripture to interpret Scripture, then it is here that we must seek to learn. Jesus is our righteousness – Jesus is the Prince of Peace – Jesus is the King of kings before whom every knee will one day bow.

PRAYER

SONG

You are the King of glory,

You are the Prince of Peace,

You are the Lord of heaven and earth,

You’re the Son of righteousness.

Angels bow down before You,

worship and adore,

for You have the words of eternal life,

You are Jesus Christ the Lord.

Hosanna to the Son of David!

Hosanna to the King of kings!

Glory in the highest heaven,

for Jesus the Messiah reigns!

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