Take 5 with Kathy – Above all…
On Thursday, my parents came along with me and my husband to a maple sugar camp. Hubby and I had visited there in the fall of 2011(see my October 22, 2011 post). We couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful day for such an outing as we enjoyed the warmth of the sunshine after such a long winter. As we drove along, however, we soon saw evidence of the power of nature following a night of heavy rain and wind. Flood waters covered baseball fields, parking lots, farmer’s fields, and roads. We negotiated one country road very carefully as potholes and washed-away shoulders made driving tricky. All of us kept remarking, “Look at all that water!” It brought home how quickly the forces of what God has created can unleash their fury and change our lives.
(Sugar Moon Farm, Nova Scotia)
I was soon reminded of what God had already led me to write about this week and how what we had seen is a good illustration. No matter how much power and might nature possesses, it pales in comparison to the sovereignty of God.
His name is “El Elyon” – “God Most High” – “uppermost”. This title distinguishes Him as the sovereign ruler over all. Because He created all, He is superior to all. He is the Supreme Being above all beings. He is above all authorities whether appointed by God or selected by man. He deserves our utmost attention, honor, and worship.
The first instance in Scripture of this name is in Genesis14:19-20, “Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you…’” Abram had just returned from defeating four Mesopotamian kings who had captured his nephew, Lot, among others. Melchizedek was the King of Salem (Jerusalem) as well as a priest of God. Abram, great as he was to become, acknowledged Melchizedek’s superior spiritual position by giving him a tenth of the plunder (this practice would become a significant requirement under Mosaic Law providing for the needs of future Levitic priests). Soon after this event, God made His formal covenant with Abram promising him an heir and a land for his descendants.
Melchizedek’s birth and death is unexplained; we know little of him beyond this passage. Yet, he became an archetype of Christ, the Messiah portrayed in Psalm 110:4, “…You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” The fulfillment of this prophecy was realized in the life of Christ and was sanctioned by God Himself. Hebrews 5:5-6 makes this clear, “And no one can become a high priest simply because he wants such an honor. He must be called by God for this work, just as Aaron was. That is why Christ did not honor Himself by assuming He could become High Priest. No, He was chosen by God, who said to Him, ‘You are my Son, Today I have become your Father’…‘You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.’” Chapter 6:20 confirms that, “He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.” The whole of chapters 5-8 are devoted to explaining the significance of this fulfillment. It’s a fascinating study!
Personally, I am most blessed by knowing that Christ is “able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through Him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf. He is the kind of high priest we need because He is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven…Jesus did this once for all when He offered Himself as the sacrifice for the people’s sins.” (Chapter 7:25-27) It upsets me when I see a humanly-appointed person receiving all the recognition and glory instead of the God they have been called to serve.
I am so glad I have direct access to God, the Father, through Jesus Christ. Since He is my High Priest forever, there is no need to go through anyone else for atonement and forgiveness of my sins. What an amazing truth to believe and appropriate! It provides a security and freedom that cannot be found in anything or anyone else, no matter how good or righteous they may appear. He is Most High – higher than Melchizedek, Abraham, the priests with their mortality and inability to atone for their own sins, Moses and Aaron, King David, modern-day spiritual leaders – He is above all.
As John the Baptist testified of Christ, “The One who comes from above is above all…”[i]
Until next Sunday,
*All Scriptures from NLT