Abraham and Melchizedek (Genesis 14)

Abraham Study Guide (Week 4)

SUGGESTED VERSES FOR MEMORIZATION & MEDITATION

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) (Genesis 14:18)

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:19-20)

OPENING THOUGHT

While studying the life of Abram, the man of faith, we have witnessed both his successes and failures. When God told Abram to go to an unknown place, Abram trusted the faithfulness of God and went. Yet when his life was in danger in Egypt, he sold away his wife to save himself. Last week, a conflict arose between Abram and Lot, and Abram responded by faith, while Lot trusted his sight. The account then ended with God renewing his promise to Abram, showing that God remained faithful to Abram through every high and low of life.

In this chapter, Lot’s decision to live in Sodom results in him being captured by a hostile army. Though Abram was only connected to this war of kings through Lot, he steps into the conflict for the sake of his nephew. By the grace of God, Abram is given a tremendous victory and afterward encounters two very different kings. One of the kings, Melchizedek, is a priest of God, to whom Abram gladly gives a tithe in thankfulness to God’s provision. The second is the king of Sodom, who attempts to give Abram spoils of war so that he can claim to have made Abram rich.

Abram navigates the war and the two kings with wisdom that only God can give, but like the rest of the Bible, this chapter ultimately points to Jesus. Abram was able to avoid a sinful love of money because he possessed a greater treasure than material wealth. Furthermore, Hebrews 7 explains how Melchizedek points to Jesus being our great high priest, who intercedes on our behalf to the Father. Through this chapter in Abram’s life, we see Jesus as both our treasure and our high priest.

Read verses 1-12 and discuss the following.

  1. After living in the evil city of Sodom, Lot is taken captive whenever the city is defeated. Can you recall a time when you suffered because you placed yourself in a bad situation? Can you think of times when you placed yourself in position where you would likely sin, whether intentional or unintentional?

Read verses 13-16 and discuss the following.

  1. Ultimately, God gave Abram victory over his enemies. Are you able to recall moments when God gave you success? Are we ever able to succeed without God’s aid?

Read verses 17-20 and discuss the following.

  1. Melchizedek points to Christ being our perfect and eternal high priest. What is the significance of Jesus being our high priest? How does Jesus’ priestly role impact our prayers?
  2. Abram gave a tithe (ten percent of his income) to Melchizedek out of thankfulness to God. Is your giving out of gratitude or compulsion? Why should we want to give to God?

Read verses 21-24 and discuss the following.

  1. Abram’s refusal of the king of Sodom’s offer reveals that wealth was not Abram’s ultimate aim in life. He passed by one treasure because he trusted in a greater treasure. If placed in a similar situation, would you have also declined the king’s offer? What was Abram’s great treasure, the source of his hope and trust?

ACTIONS TO CONSIDER

  • Recall times when the LORD granted you success in life and thank Him for that grace.
  • Consider how recognizing Jesus as our high priest should impact your prayers.
  • In light of 2 Corinthians 9:7, prayerfully decided how to thankfully give to the LORD (with both time and finances).
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