2 AUGUST (VERSE 18 PREACHED 1 FEBRUARY 1767)
King of righteousness and peace
‘For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.’ Hebrews 7:1–3
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Titus 3:3–8
Melchizedek was king of Salem, most probably Jerusalem, though commentators are divided. This city was governed by a priest and servant of the most High God, afterwards possessed by the Jebusites, then the seat of the temple of God, at length totally destroyed and lays waste to this day. Thus the Lord is not confined to places. Thus we should learn not to depend upon outward privileges—they may be soon taken away—nor to give up hope of any because dark at present, for he can soon command the light to shine. The Apostle takes notice of the names—Melchizedek: Melchi Salem—King of Righteousness and King of Peace. Under these characters we have a type of Jesus:
(i) he is King of Righteousness, the perfector of righteousness in himself (Psalm 45:6), the author of righteousness to his people (Jeremiah 23:5).
(ii) he is King of Peace (Isaiah 9:6; Ephesians 2). To him poor sinners are to look for those needful blessings. He can justify the ungodly and fill the troubled mind with peace surpassing all understanding.
His characters—without descent—show that he was a proper type of Christ’s priest office as distinct from the Levitical priests. They were registered, their genealogies carefully kept, and otherwise they could not be received—a stated time was appointed for their entrance on their office and their discharge—but he was without beginning of days or end of time.
FOR MEDITATION: ‘And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS’ (Revelation 19:16).
‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty’ (Revelation 1:8).
SERMON SERIES: GENESIS, NO. 28 [2/3], GENESIS 14:18–19