Advent 2015: Born Is The King: Day 5

Jesus Is The True & Better Melchizedek


Today's Text: Genesis 14:17-24, Psalm 110, Hebrews 6:13-20, Hebrews 7

Text: Genesis 14:17-24, Psalm 110, Hebrews 6:13-20, Hebrews 7

Lying with my face pressed against the concrete edge, I exhaled and reached further down, fishing with a bungee cord. Extending my good arm, I dangled the little black plastic hook just far enough to catch the runner of a beautiful antique toboggan. Oh yes! I am the Christmas Queen! I hoisted it triumphantly out of the dumpster and held the sled up for my embarrassed husband to admire. “There’s nothing wrong with this! We can give it fresh paint and use it to decorate for Christmas! Christmas is saved!”

I started to cast my eyes around for other delights and leaned even further over the edge. I had never been to our local country dump before, and I was making up for lost time. I spotted another rotting sled and prepared to go in after it when I heard a loud voice: “Ma’am, please get out of the dumpster. You cannot remove trash from this dump.”

Yeah. I hear it now, too. I was climbing in a dumpster. I had to be scolded by another adult. It’s probably his job to keep enthusiasts like me from climbing over the metal sides to root through other people’s castoffs. When we wake up in the morning, we don’t plan to put our hands in the garbage. But then something shiny sitting in the middle of the refuse catches our greedy eyes, and we dive in head first.

When Melchizedek came to visit Abraham, our guy Abraham dropped everything and gave him ten percent of his wealth. He saw that Melchizedek was a faithful priest of the one true God—a truly rare thing in those days. But the king of Sodom was there, too, and did he care that the extraordinary prophet, priest, and king of the Old Testament had come to visit? Hard no. He couldn’t see the big picture.

The king of Sodom was focused on the grabby, shiny business of splitting up land with Abraham. He didn’t even speak to Melchizedek. He was caught up in the petty details of arguing with Abraham, but the important thing that day was the meeting with Melchizedek, the mysterious priest-king.

Melchizedek was a big deal! At this meeting, it’s clear that he is greater than Abraham, and Abraham is, well, he’s “Father Abraham,” the father of the faith in so many ways. Even Abraham pays Melchizedek homage. The writer of Hebrews describes Melchizedek as being “without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life”—a truly unique figure (Hebrews 7:3).

This rare combination foreshadows Jesus, who is the true eternal priest-king (Psalm 110:4, Hebrews 7:3; 16:20). Jesus is the truer and better Melchizedek who fulfills both our need for a priest and for a king (Genesis 14:18, 21). Jesus is actually called “a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 7:17).

When Melchizedek sat with Abraham, he served the kingly and covenantal meal of bread and wine, just as Jesus would later do for His disciples (Matthew 26:26-28). While the meal and blessings Melchizedek offered Abraham were a welcome refreshment, Jesus is the only source of true fulfillment and blessing.

When we, like the king of Sodom, find ourselves focusing on the wrong thing—digging in the garbage for our treasure—we can remember that the wonder of the ages is right in front of us. The gospel is true! Instead of giving ourselves over to the sparkles and twinkles of distraction, let us see “the hope that is set before us” which is Christ the Lord (Hebrews 6:18). Thanks be to God!


  • AKAIK yovu’e got the answer in one!


    As I read these comparisons, I realize my need for Jesus more and more! The best part is the fact that I will always need Him. I will never become so good that there is not room for improvement. I am thankful that I am not where I use to be and even more grateful for where I still have to go with Jesus. Life is a process and so is becoming more like Jesus daily. Thank God for Jesus, my perfect High Priest!!

  • Knowing that God is the highest priest who can intercede for us is amazing. He was the only priest to humble himself as a lowly servant to save us. And we can approach him. Praise God :)

  • I was so excited to see that Melchezidek was chosen for a devotion. We got to dig into his background a few years back, when I was going to Bible Study Fellowship. I got so tickled about your dumpster diving story, but what you said is right. I focus on shiny things many times rather than realize God is in His Magnificent Glory is in front of me.

  • Ashli Rouw

    Amen!!! I’m so very grateful for the wisdom coming through these character comparisons. I have read Genesis a few times and failed to pay attention to Melchizedek! Just like the king of Sodom failed to pay attention! I also love how I never see myself as the bad guy (king of Sodom, Judas, etc) until put in their shoes… Then my need for Jesus becomes greater than it was the moment before! Thank you Jesus for being my Priest, Redeemer, and King!

  • Mary Beth

    Jesus, may I see you ever increasingly more as the most beautiful, worthy, and true treasure, even in the midst of life’s blessings. “I count it all rubbish compared with knowing Christ Jesus my Lord for whose sake I have suffered the loss of all things” (Phil. 3). ❤️

  • Kasey Summers

    Our High Priest forever. Our hope forever.

  • I love these character study comparisons and how Jesus is always better than any earthly figure. HE IS GOD and I am so thankful my hope and trust is in Him. Enjoying my first SRT study!

  • I remember reading about Melchizedek when I read through Genesis but I didn’t think anything of him. I just breezed on through the passage without giving it a second thought. I guess Melchizedek really is important!

  • Trisha C

    I so needed this today. Lately I see that I have been putting my head in the dump, searching for “treasures”, but not seeing my true Treasure, Jesus Christ, my Savior. Lifting my eyes today to the Living Hope! Forgive me Father for giving you my leftovers and not my first fruits. Thank you Jesus for being my true High Priest, the One who “enters into the inner place behind the curtain” so that I might be made righteous before my Holy God! Amen

  • Stephanie

    I went to Christian school and as I have gotten older have been studying the word almost daily, and I have NEVER heard of Melchizedek- how is that possible!? There is still so much to learn.

  • JourdanS

    It is so easy to get distracted by the things of this life that in the big picture don’t really matter. I pray that God can give me a heart that focuses on Christ and not on the world.

  • so thankful for Jesus, to await his already but not yet coming… a better hope, better covenant, always able to save, lives to intercede, a Son who who has been perfected forever…

    Thank you Jesus!

  • To me, each day of this study, and reading all of your thoughtful comments, IS the glittery sparkly Christmas gift I didn’t know I needed but speaks right to my soul. It’s wonderful to see how these Old Testament stories truly point the way to Jesus. Thank you SRT, and everyone here, for this blessing!!

  • I just wanted to say thank you to everyone at She Reads Truth, for this site. Something that I constantly finding myself struggle with in my faith is knowledge of the word, and I have difficulty digging deeper into the word. This series specifically has helped me so much in learning more about the Lord and the true reason for this season of giving. Peace be with all of you.

    • Sierra

      SRT is so wonderful isn’t it? This is my first study here and LOVING this study. I am also a fairly new member of Bible Study Fellowship. They are a free to join international study and groups form everywhere. My group has over 100 women that meet each Wednesday. Childcare is also provided free and the teachers are lovely. It’s amazing! We are studying Revelations right now. So crazy for my first study but it is exactly what I needed. If your interested in joining they have all info online. Happy holidays!!

      • Kaite

        Like SRT, Bible Study Fellowship has also been a tremendous blessing in deepening my understanding of God’s Word! I will whole heartedly second your recommendation!

  • Haileyblackmer

    This reading today was a struggle for me. I am still not sure, even after reading everyone’s post, that I fully understand?? Time to dig deeper into the word and re-read and re-re-read!!

    • Jennifer

      I’m with you, Haileyblackmer! More reading and praying for us to understand!

      • Juliefay

        Praying for you guys too! I think what stands out to me is that many figures in the Old Testament were pictures and foreshadows of what was to come. The task of Melchizedek was a priestly one – making sacrifices on behalf of people and serving the king of Sodom. He was seen as a ‘pure in heart’ kind of guy and prob would have made a better King than the one of Sodom. He should have just been a sidelines character but God used him to be a picture of what was to come. He is mentioned in the New Testament because every Jew knew this story – every Jew knew the history of prophets priests and kings and so it was a perfect picture for people of the early church to relate to. Many were still waiting for the perfect priest to show up – and some missed it! Many people were looking for a blingy King (like the one of Sodom) who had all the bells and whistles. The New Testament reading spoke of the perfect Melchizedek who is Jesus. Jesus – like Melchizedek – was a humble servant. Being born in a stable, into poverty, he did not pomp around but lived to serve His father – God – making sacrifice on behalf of the people. He made the ultimate sacrifice in obedience and service to the ultimate King and He was the true King!

        • Juliefay

          Oops!!! I just reread the passage! Melchizedek was another King! Not a servant to the King of Sodom! Read and reread- makes a big different!

        • Ashley

          You can also try changing your translation in the main settings to a couple different ones, like the message, which usually helps me get a better grasp on it.

      • Haileyblackmer

        Thank you so much Jliefay!!

      • Wendy

        I think the devotional might have made the reading sort of confusing as well. She chose to focus more on the King of Sodom rather than teaching about Mel and how the Bible compares him to Jesus. I would do a character study separately on him, it’s fascinating how Jesus really is the true and better Melchizedek, and it’s almost as if God created Melchizedek to specifically show Jesus as our Great High Priest. So beautiful!

        • Courtney

          Wendy, I like this suggestion. Any recommendations on how to do that? I’ve never done a character study before

  • Today’s readings reminded me of the curtain in the temple that was torn in two when Jesus died. What a powerful image of Christ our true High Priest!

  • Ladies I need some prayer.
    I’ve been a Christian for most of my life now, and I have started to notice that although I know Jesus is true I’m not as passionate or willing to share my faith. I’m more interested in not offending anyone, then sharing truth. Sadly, I’m like the king of sodom. Not interested in THE priest, but rather the world.

    Can you please pray this lack of passion is ignited by Jesus once again?
    Thank you

    • Bailey

      Kersti, I prayed for you tonight. You are not alone! I’m praying for your strength, courage, and boldness. God always shows up and His promises never fail.

    • Kavicky

      I have found that our faith goes through the desert at times. Times when we feel distant from God. But then this glorious thing happens and we reach the end of the desert. We “feel” more in love with God and closer to Him. We wouldn’t be able to appreciate the green-ness or the luscious-ness or the refreshing water we find if we hadn’t just traveled through the desert. So keep what you’re doing. Reading the word, praying, and filling your life with Christ through music, fiction and friends. Your oasis will come again. Lifting you in prayer!

  • I don’t think I ever really appreciated the significance of Melchizedek before. It’s easy to see how often dumpster dive by following shiny teachers or celebrities of faith. Yes, so many are a great example to us but many would be wanting their lives to the true treasure of Jesus. Thank you for that awesome reminder!

    • Bailey

      I prayed for you tonight that God would give you courage and boldness. I am guilty of staying in my comfort zone also and have to pray for God to use me to do His will and to speak through me. God will give you opportunities to share and He will show up to give you the words to say. You are not alone and I’m praying for you!

  • Samantha

    I concentrated on Hebrews 6 in today’s reading and found it so eye opening! God has given an oath (of which is binding) So that those who receive His promises can rest assured that He will never change His mind…for it is impossible for God to lie! Clinging to this anchor of hope tonight!

  • I love Hebrews 7:12:
    For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well.
    When Jesus became our high priest life under the Law was abolished and we were made clean under grace! I love how that is highlighted even in the OT and how it clearly foreshadows Christ!

  • Such a great reminder heading into finals week at school. Fix our eyes on Jesus because He is greater than any twinkle that may offer temporary satisfaction in this world!

  • Honestly, I’ve read Hebrews multiple times and this is only one section that has left me just baffled. But this! God is using you lovely ladies to open my eyes and I am so thankful.

  • Let us see the hope that is set before us! This is a good reminder and prayer all year long. There will always be things that seem to be shiny and bright that attracts our attention to distract us from the true and lasting beauty of the hope that is given to us.

  • sandy Flanagan

    Hello I am new to this web page, but I want to say a huge thank you to Raechel, Amanda and Kaitlin who very kindly sent 4 books of open your bible to my friend Tina, so we could use this book at
    our little bible study group… we are so excited and so blessed by your gift. Thank you so much

  • Oh how I need Jesus. Just now I got distracted by the “shiniest” thing in our world right now, our phones. I look at it first thing in the morning and throughout the day, sometimes in procrastination to turn my eyes to the King of Kings who far outshines all iPhones, even when the brightness is up all of the way. But the very truth that Jesus came as the Forever Priest in the order of Melchizedek offers me much encouragement because it signifies that Jesus knew we needed Him, if not, why would He need to offer up a sacrifice for us? And He knew the extent to which we needed Him, a depth of need that could only be covered by His own, perfect blood. “Such a high priest truly meets our need- one who is holy, blameless, pure, set-apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.” (Hebrews 7:26)

  • I love love love reading about Christ and the similarities with Melchizedek. It always floors me how profound and complete God’s plan has been from the beginning and just how blessed we, on the other side of history are by having His complete word.

    Thank God that through Jesus we have a high priest FOREVER!

    • Caralee

      I love how you have said this. Jesus was not a last ditch attempt at gaining our fellowship…He was the plan from the beginning. Praise God!!

  • Hi Melissa! I agree that’s it easy at this time of year to focus on the shiny parts of Christmas that have nothing to do with Jesus. This SRT study has really helped me focus on Jesus, the true meaning of Christmas. Praying for you and the changes in your life. Merry Christmas!

  • Melissa Davis

    Sparkles and twinkles of distractions really hit home with me this morning. I am in a season of change and growing pains. Instead of embracing Jesus for strength, I find myself clinging to Christmas decorations and parties and lights and music and anything but Jesus. Join with me in praying that our focus must be drawn to the cross. It is the ultimate picture of God using unmeasurable pain and suffering to bring peace and joy.

    • Eeleah

      Yes me too! I love gift giving and shopping in general, and I too find it hard at times to focus. Praying for the Holy Spirit to remind me often of Jesus this season.

  • Thank you for making me take a closer look at Hebrews 7 and Melchizedek the Priest.
    There is so much theology and depth wrapped up in only 28 verses! My mind is blown. Lol!

    I also wanted to let those who have read know that Hebrews 16:20 should be 6:16-20.

    Hebrews 6:16-20
    People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

    God is truly amazing!

  • This passage was something I had to read a few times in a few different translations to understand better. I never really understood how He was a priest after the order of Melchizedek; but now I see what that means. Without lineage, no reference of beginning or end, priest of the High God. That’s so powerful to me, and shows another piece of God’s character. The way He works things out so perfectly for the bigger picture. We are of a royal priesthood. Jesus came in and changed the game, gave us a new covenant, new priesthood to live under and I am so thankful for that.

  • Kimberly Vieyra

    Sometimes we get caught up in all the shiny new things, especially during this season, and we want it all. All the great deals, and improvised product and we want it all. Yet, where does most of the “new” things go? iPhones crack, make up runs out, cars get miles and need maintenance, clothes get worn, and toys need new batteries. It’s a never ending cycle. And I’m not saying any of this is bad to want. However it’s always the heart of the matter. We, I, are so want want want, and we forget what we need need need, Jesus. He is all we need. God already said everything you ask is already yours, but I think as Americans, and all humans beings really, we get confused as to what we ask for when we ask God for things. This was such a great devotional to start my day and reeling me back in from desiring the new shiny thing and checking my heart to look around and see all I already have, it’s all His and He gave it all to me.

    • Eeleah

      I totally agree!! We live in a culture of want and it takes constant and intentional reminding to keep our eyes fixed on Him.

  • Sarah York

    I had heard the name of Melchizedek before but was not sure who he was upon clicking the study this morning. What a cool passage and yet another thing in the OT pointing towards Jesus. I love it!

  • SarahMay

    The LAW was imperfect because it set into place a way for imperfect, weak PRIESTS who were susceptible to death (as we all are) to be in office. Not so with Jesus. His “office” was promised in an OATH; He is perfect, holy, and lives forever–He is the absolute image of perfection for what we need in a High Priest, an advocate, a sacrifice. No other man could hold a candle to the depth and breadth of what Jesus offers. It’s a completely different lineage, an absolute promise, total perfection.

    Thank you, Father, for knowing what we needed before we could understand. Thank you, Jesus, for being perfection, indestructible, holy.

    • Jess

      Struggling to sum up all the thoughts and words read in Hebrews 6-7 and you have done it beautifully. Thank you for sharing! ❤️

  • I love that God made a promise and swore by Himself! He can’t break the promise because it would go against His character and He has said He is faithful. He cannot lie because He says He won’t. How beautiful is that, that God is so great, He cannot be unfaithful because He has promised to be faithful! Continually blows my mind.

  • Rochelle

    Without reading the other comments, I’m sure I echo other’s thoughts when I say this is such a timely message for these days specifically when we are literally surrounded by the alluring twinkling and glitter of Christmas lights and tinsel. It’s a physically beautiful time of year, and it’s so easy to get wrapped up (no pun intended) in the trappings of the holiday…while forgetting the true meaning and the most important gift of all.
    Also, today’s scripture choices and devotional did a great job of further clarifying themes I vaguely understood but had never fully grasped. Not quite this much. Awesome word today – thanks, SRT. Jesus wasn’t just a sacrifice to end all sacrifice, He was and is The Sacrifice.

  • During this time of year I especially needed the reminder not to go digging in garbage for shiny things! Lord, direct our eyes to what you have set aside for us this season, and may we not be distracted by the rest! Give us open hearts to opportunities where we can bring peace & joy & love to others who need a touch from You. And thank you for sending a true & better Melchezidek, one who could provide the sacrifice to end all sacrifices by laying down His own life. Thank you, thank you!

  • “11 Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well.” Jesus, the true and perfect priest/King! Man, this reading was so powerful today. So freeing! We aren’t bound by the law, by the old covenant way of righteousness. Jesus accomplished EVERYTHING on our behalf….our one true priest!!

  • I am a lite confused by this advent reading. I didn’t realize the King of Salem and Melchizidek were two different people. I thought Melchizidek was the king of Salem.

    • Lindsey

      Never mind! I was confused!

      • Melissa Davis

        Haha I found it confusing at first too! Rereading the Hebrews passage was helpful!

    • Kristi

      Hi Lindsey, it’s two separate kings. Yes, Melchizedek is the king of SALEM. The other king referred to is the king of SODOM. Hope this helps clear things up!

  • Caroline @ In Due Time

    What a good reminder to stay away from the garbage! I would much rather focus on the hope that Jesus gives!

  • Love how much the old and the New Testament are intertwined

  • Churchmouse

    Such a hard concept /passage to understand. Melchizedek is the King of Salem and yet a shadowy figure. He has position and status, yet comes in and out of Scripture like a waft of smoke. Can he really be that significant? Ah… Abraham acknowledged him as a priest to the God most High, which is the greater position than early king. The priest is the mediator between the people and their God, bound together by the Law and endless sacrifices in the search for forgiveness. Priests, by the Law, come from the line of Aaron and the Levites. BUT JESUS comes in the order of Melchizedek,who did not have this priestly genealogy. Jesus is from the tribe of Judah. And yet, He becomes the perfect mediator. It’s not about the tribe that gives the credentials. It’s the “power of an indestructible life.” (think resurrection power!) Jesus holds the priesthood forever. All come to forever forgiveness by His one final complete sacrifice. Himself. Wow. No more offering countless sacrifices (think good deeds) but One and done!

    • Alanna

      Wow, thank you for your insight! I was a little lost while reading the devotion and not getting the connections, but you laid it out plainly! Praise Jesus for His love and sacrifice as our priest, our mediator before God!

    • Kristi

      Thanks for laying it out so clearly!

    • Taylor Garibaldi

      Thank you for making it a little more clear to understand, I was definitely confused! :)

    • Toni

      Thank you for this insight- you really helped me more fully understand today’s readings.

    • Kristin

      Thanks for this! It totally helped!

    • Rebecca H.

      Church mouse rocked it! Thank you much for that!

    • Eeleah

      Thank u for outlining this! I feel sometimes it’s so easy to slip into “good deeds” mode without even knowing it. Understanding Grace is a lifelong learning process.

    • Doughboy

      Very true! Makes a change to see soenmoe spell it out like that. :)

  • “For on the one hand the law was set aside because of its weakness and uselessness but on the other hand a better hope is introduced.” Hebrews 7:18

    I’m so thankful for my better hope – One who is perfect and blameless and yet knows well what hurt, loneliness and misunderstanding feel like. Muir also is the ultimate comforter and peace maker.

  • I am really loving these Advent readings! Different from the traditional stories of wise men and shepards. Not that those aren’t important. But, you are helping us to see glimpses of the One on whom was waited for and who still lives in our hearts! These readings are helping us see just what was wrapped up in the baby’s flesh lying in that manger! Thank you!

    • Rochelle

      Yes! I love these devotionals for the same reason! What a great way to see the bigger picture.

  • Heather Clement

    Jesus. A Priest in the order of Melchizedek. King of Righteousness. King of Peace. Without beginning or end. Perfect. Spotless. From babe in the manger to beauty on a cross. He became our righteousness that we might know peace. We are loved with an everlasting love, by the only One who really matters. This is Christmas.

  • Missy CM

    I´m a little confused but grateful this was in today´s reading… so is Melchizedek kind of Elisha-like in that he just gets taken to heaven… no body, no death? Anybody have more insight on this?

    • Susan

      I was confused about this too. Maybe no one kept a record of his life?! But that seems odd too since he was considered greater than Abram.

    • Regan

      Unfortunately, the only good look at Melchizedek we get is right there in Genesis 14. The writer of Hebrews (a man well-versed in ancient Jewish literary techniques) does us Westerners a huge favor when he adds interpretation and insight into that brief interaction in the OT. We cannot be certain when it comes to details like the length of Melchizedek’s life, etc., but we can be certain of the significance of this man for a few contextual reasons. This meeting described between Abe and Melchi is totally unique in literary style, and (though it seems small and vague to us) would have stuck out from the text like a diamond in a coal mine for the ancient Jewish audience. It breaks a lot of writing etiquette, and therefor is significant- like someone was intentionally highlighting the meeting for literary purposes. The mystery surrounding Melchizedek is uncharacteristic of Jewish texts. The point is to make us curious about Mel, and to see the foreshadowing that would come to fruition in Jesus. Make sense?

    • Amy

      I did a bit of Google searching and found a couple of helpful links (I had similar questions!): (dense, but comprehensive)

    • SB

      My Bible’s notes suggest that the verse does not mean he had no father/mother or that he did not die, but possibly that God (because of His sovereign plan) does not give us this record in Scripture because He wanted to use it as a comparison to Christ many years later.

      • Lorrie

        I could read a book about this without finding such real-world apparoches!

    • Mallory

      “Without father and without mother” is a reference to Ezra 2:61-63 and Nehemiah 7:63-65 where priestly candidates had to show evidence of Aaronic descent. (Jesus is descended from Judah.) “Neither beginning nor end of days” is a reference to Numbers 4:3-43 where Mosaic law specifies priestly ministry began at 30 years and ends at 50 years (Jesus is our priest forever.). The word “forever” here (Heb 7:3) is really more like “for a long time.” It is not as strong as another Greek word for “forever” used in Heb 6:20, 7:17, 7:21, 7:28 for Jesus.

      • Sarah

        Thanks Mallory! This explanation really helped clarify the importance of these statements and how to understand them with Old Testament it can be difficult to understand literary v figurative language.

    • Caroline

      @Missy – I found this commentary from Ligonier helpful:

  • Carly Absolutely!

  • I love the thought of Jesus as our eternal High Priest- that while other priests had to keep on making sacrifices and sacrifice for their own sin as well he made the sacrifice once and for all. He accomplished everything so we don’t have to keep the law to be right with God. I love that he intercedes for us before the Father and that, because of what he did, we can also draw close and go “through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.”

    • Alison

      …and that with the change of priests, the laws changed, but with Jesus, the laws never changed again.

      • sarahmariet

        Praise the Lord! Thanks for the wonderful insights and thoughts, friends!

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