No Beginning and No End


Not too far back in history when one would stand looking out across the ocean they would easily conclude that it had no end. The sea just went on forever, water and sky, on and on, with no end. Land has bounds but the sea was limitless. We know today that it does have bounds. The ocean has a beginning and an end.

What Is Permanent, I Mean Really Permanent?

So what around us, in our lives, is permanent? What goes on forever? What has no end? With age and a little life experience and maybe a little science most of us come to the conclusion that nothing on this earth is permanent. At best there are things that appear permanent, but given enough time all things change, everything has limits, nothing is without an end.

The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek." (Psalm 110:4)
The Lord does not change his mind and the Messiah will be a priest forever. OK, but who is Melchizedek?

Who Is This Guy?

Melchizedek, the King of Salem, is briefly mentioned near the beginning of the Bible (Genesis 14), in the middle (Psalm 110), and in more detail towards the end (Hebrews 5, 6, & 7).

Abraham's encounter with Melchizedek as recorded in the first book of the Bible (Genesis 14:17-20) was brief, but as we begin to learn in Psalm 110 had tremendous significance in telling us more about the Messiah.

So what do we know from the Bible about Melchizedek?
  1. He was a King.
  2. He was King of Salem. Salem means peace.
  3. He was also "a priest of God Most High".
  4. He blessed Abraham and then Abraham "gave him a tenth of everything" he had just won back in battle.
  5. His name means "King of Righteousness".
  6. As pointed out in the book of Hebrews there is no record of his birth or death and so he has no beginning or end.
  7. He was the very first priest mentioned in the Old Testament.
  8. He was not a priest from the line of Levi as was required by the law established later under Moses.
Looking at number 8, the last point, a little more closely. Aaron would become the first High Priest of the Israelites. In fact this encounter between Abraham and Melchizedek was before Levi and Aaron were born. Melchizedek was a pre-Israelite priest. Once God established the priesthood for his people all priests were to descend from the Levi tribe.

It is also important to point out that the Levitical priesthood was separate from the Kingship of Israel. Priests were not kings and kings were not priests. The priests were set apart to be mediators between the people and God. The High Priest was the only person permitted to enter the Most Holy part of the temple and only once a year and with animal sacrifice to cover the sins of the people and priests.

So What?

OK, fascinating, we have a mysterious funky named king who was also the first priest recorded in the Bible. So what does this mean to me today?

King David in Psalm 110 compares Melchizedek, both a king and priest, with the coming Messiah. Before the Law was given, before the nation of Israel existed, this King of Salem, this priest of God Most High is a glimpse into the future. He is a preview, a sneak peak, of Christ. In Melchizedek God gives a hint of a new kind of priesthood before the old kind is even established. A hint of a future permanent priesthood. A new order, a new covenant. As we learn in Hebrews the Levitical priesthood was only temporary and could not ultimately change the underline problem - sin. Without a new order we humans could never have direct interaction with God.

Jesus is both our King and our High Priest. He is the King of peace. He is the King of Righteousness! He has no beginning or end. He is eternal. He is our permanent mediator between us and God. In our lives in this world where nothing is permanent, where nothing is forever, Christ is our permanent High Priest.



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7 comments:

  1. I'm grateful that Jesus is my high priest who intercedes on my behalf before the Father. Grateful that in this ever changing world I can always count on Him.

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  2. Nice post on priesthood. Thanks for sharing. Where are the posts on the book of Job?

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  3. I think one of the most safe and secure feelings we have is that our hope is anchored in the Eternal King and High Priest. In a world where everything is temporal and passing, we have this hope, solid and secure.

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  4. One of the most intense and constant thoughts I have received from the good book, is the title to this post. I have fallen asleep many a night thinking about no beginning and no end. It is something to this day, fifty odd years into my life I still cannot "wrap my mind" around.

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  5. Last night was one of those moments where God responded so intimately to me. I still don't know the answers that I'm seeking and things are still hard but I know, I know that I have not to worry.

    I can't believe how stressed I became because someone I know was able to buy a gorgeous new couch. I looked at my shabby stuff and felt miserable. I became overwhelmed with wanting...things.

    Throughout my life I've made my choices to not make material things a priority. Because of this I've have had the opportunity to work all over the world helping people. But the last few months I got slammed with crazy desires for all the goods of this world.
    Reading this...What does last? We know. I do trust God and the journey here is too short to get sidetracked with collecting things that don't last.
    God's forever peace to you

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  6. A Mom's Choice: Thanks, I don't believe I have written anything on the book of Job. I should. Thanks for the encouragement. By the way John Piper wrote a beautiful poetry book on the book of Job that you can read or listen to for free on the web. You should check it out it is fantastic. Here is a link to the book.

    Thank you Tracy and Steve for taking the time to comment. Your thoughts add beauty and richness to this blog.

    ManOverboard.com: Thanks for sharing. There are some things that are beyond complete understanding in this life. Too often we have tried to put eternity into a box and claim to have it figured out only to be disappointed. The same is true for God.

    Sherrlyn: Wow! Thank you. I can so relate. We all are attracted to stuff. Wisdom and experience teaches us how limited the happiness is that is found in stuff. Things are only things. They will fade, they will come to an end, but Christ is eternal. Our relationship with God will not end. Praise God!

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  7. How amazing God wraps His WORD. From Genesis to New testament: Christ is all and is in all.

    I praise Him for He's eternal. that said I can trust in him more and more!

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