Abraham is one of the most influential men of the bible. His story begins in Genesis 12 but his impact will continue forever. He was originally known as Abram, a man who stepped out from the shadows of obscurity and into the spot light of the world stage. By faith, Abram would become Abraham. He fulfilled many leading rolls such as son, uncle, husband and father. Generations of three major religious faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam regard him a leader and religious source forever. His faith and righteousness became the biblical benchmark as indicators for a true relationship with El Elyon, the Most High God.
Many of the Bible's overarching themes are generated from Abram's story. Biblical themes such as God calling humans to follow his way of life, to separate themselves from familiar culture, to live a life of holiness, and to encourage others to live a God-honoring life are lodged in his house of blessing. God says 'do this' and you will be blessed. God promised not only to bless Abram but to create a nation from him that would be a blessing. Abram did become wealthy and blessed. However, his nephew, Lot, separated and moved to the plain of Jordan near Sodom. He settled among the wicked and great sinners. An international war broke out that included allied kingdoms of the east and north, Lot was taken captive and removed as far north as Damascus.
When Abram heard Lot had been taken captive, he mustered up a small force to rescue his nephew. Upon returning from his successful rescue mission, Abram encountered two kings in the Valley of Shaveh: the king of Sodom and king Melchizedek, the king of Salem. Melchizedek brought out bread and wine, he was also a priest of El Elyon, the Most High God. He blessed Abram. Abram responded by giving Melchizedek a tenth of everything. (Genesis 14:17-20) Melchizedek is often interpreted as a prototype to the Davidic monarchs and represents the future King of Israel. Melchizedek, whose name is 'My King of Righteousness,' also represents a superior priesthood to which Jesus Christ belongs. (Hebrews 7:1-19)
All this is pretty heady stuff. Abram's ordinal rescue mission could be interpreted as the blueprint for our ultimate salvation. Humanity separated and moved away from God toward wickedness and great sin. We were taken captive and removed from God. For us and our salvation, Jesus Christ led the ultimate rescue mission. Bread and wine are shared at a table where we remember all that Christ accomplished for us. Jesus fulfills both roles as our High priest who blesses us and our Deliverer from our enemy. Could we be like Abram in response to the blessing of salvation and give God a tenth of everything? By faith, Abram became Abraham-the friend of God. By faith, who might we become?
"Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, 'Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.' Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything." Genesis 14:18-20 NIV