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If the history of the first battle ever fought be interesting, this chapter which relates it, must be so. But alas! what is the relation of all wars, but the relation of our fallen state. From whence come wars and fightings, but of our lusts which war in our members! Sodom, the land of plenty, becomes now the land of desolation. The battle of the king's involves Lot, Abram's kinsman, in the evil. The patriarch hearing of it, hastens to his rescue, and delivers both him and his household from captivity. In this enterprise Abram meets Mechizedec, king of Salem and Priest of the Most High God; is refreshed by him after the battle and blessed.
Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
The Reader is desired to recollect, that the Sodomites were the descendants of Canaan; on whom that memorable denunciation was prophetically made by Noah. Genesis 9:25
And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.
Abram might be called the Hebrew, either from Eber, his ancestory as above, or else from his having passed the Euphrates, when he became a passenger, or pilgrim, in the land of Canaan.
And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
I beg the Reader, very particularly, in entering upon the perusal of these verses, to call to mind our motto: Moses wrote of Christ. And with this impression, to turn to Hebrews 7:0 , and diligently compare both Scriptures: and may the same Almighty Teacher, who guided the apostle's pen in that chapter, to explain this Old Testament Scripture, lead the Reader into a clear apprehension of the whole. Of this Melchisedek it is said, that he was without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life. Of whom could this be said, but of Him of whom the prophet speaks: Isaiah 53:8 ; Proverbs 8:23 compared with Acts 8:33-35 ? Again. Of Melchisedek, it is said, that he is a priest forever. But who is a priest forever, excepting Him described in Psalms 110:4 ; Hebrews 7:17-21 ? So once more. Of Melchisedek it is said, that he abideth continually like to the Son of God, and that it is witnessed of him that he liveth. Hebrews 7:3-8 . But that no question of doubt might arise to whom these things referred, the apostle points out by many infallible marks to Him, of whom these things were spoken. See Hebrews 7:0 throughout.--Reader! Who think you was this Melchisedek? Can you bear testimony as Nathaniel did upon a similar occasion? John 1:49 .
How very awful is it to contemplate the bloodshed, ravages, and desolation made by war among the inhabitants of the earth! See Reader, what hath sin done, and what a train of evils originate from that one fatal source! The Holy Ghost here opens to our view in this chapter, the first display of war. Calculate, if it be possible, since that period, the dreadful amount of the vast volume in this history alone, by which the peace of private life and public bodies hath been destroyed. O! Who shall speak the groans, the heart-aches, and the sorrows, which like a flood have broken in upon the world, and desolated every part of it. Blessed Jesus! hasten that glorious period promised to thy Church, when nation shall not lift sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
But my soul! while in the mention of the adorable name of Jesus, leave, I charge thee, every other consideration as trifling and unimportant, to attend to what is related in this chapter concerning this Melchisedek, priest of the Most High God. Surely I behold in him, Jesus the Son of God, who was indeed set up as the Covenant-head from everlasting, in the Eternal Councils and whose delights were with the sons of men, before he made the earth or the highest part of the dust of the world. He was indeed, in the truest sense of the word, without father, as Man, and without mother as God; having neither beginning of days nor end of life: for he is Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever. And is he not also King of Righteousness? Yes! even the Lord our Righteousness. And, blessings to his holy name, He hath wrought out, and brought in an everlasting Righteousness, which is unto all and upon all that believe. And he is no less King of peace; for he hath made our peace in the blood of his cross. Hail thou Great Almighty Melchisedek! Be thou a priest upon thy throne for me; since thou hast an unchangeable priesthood, and ever livest to make intercession for sinners, and art able to save to the uttermost, all that come to God by thee. Son of God! help me by thy Holy Spirit, to go forth in the spiritual warfare, against all the enemies of my salvation, as Abram did to the slaughter of the kings. And do thou bring forth thy bread and thy wine, even thy precious body and blood, which is meat indeed, and drink indeed, and refresh my soul by the way. And since I have nothing, Lord, to offer thee but what is thine, accept of thine own, which thou hast given me. By thee, blessed Lord, would I desire grace, to offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, the fruit both of my lips and of my heart, giving thanks to thy name.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Genesis 14". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Sixth Week after Easter