Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews found immediately after the epistles and writing of the apostle Paul. More specifically today’s passage is found in the seventh chapter of this New Testament book. “For this Melchisidec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually” (Hebrews 7:1-3).
“Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: but he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. And as I may so say, Levi, also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisidec met him” (Hebrews 7:4-10).
“If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisidec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisidec there ariseth another priest, who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec) By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:11-25).
“For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those priests, to offer up sacrifrice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity, but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore” (Hebrews 11:26-28).
THE SLAUGHTER OF KINGS AND TITHING THE SPOILS! CONQUERING KINGS, TITHING OFF THE SPOILS AND DIVIDING THE LAND! ABRAHAM SLAUGHTERED KINGS! JOSHUA SLAUGHTERED KINGS! IF LEVI TITHED TO MELCHIZEDEK BEING YET IN THE LOINS OF ABRAHAM THEN IS IT POSSIBLE JOSHUA SLAUGHTERED KINGS IN THE LOINS OF ABRAHAM WHEN HE SLAUGHTERED THE KINGS? When you come to the seventh chapter of the epistle written unto the Hebrews you will come to continued language concerning the Lord Jesus Christ—and not only concerning the Lord Jesus Christ but also His being ordained a priest after the order of Melchizedek. If you begin reading with and from the words found in the seventh chapter you will find the author speaking of this Melchisedec who was the king of Salem and the priest of the most high God. What makes the words which are found in this passage all the more intriguing is when you consider the fact that the author writes and speaks of Abraham being met by the priest Melchizedek who was the king of Salem after returning from the slaughter of kings. This reality and concept of the slaughter of the kings must needs be recognized and understood for I am convinced it is also directly linked and connected to Joshua and the conquest of the Promised land. In all reality it is truly astonishing to think about the fact that Abraham slaughtered and put to death the kings of the land of Canaan in his generation while Joshua put to death the kings of the land during his generation. What’s more is that if you turn and direct your attention to the narrative of David king of Israel you will find that David himself conquered and subdued kings during his days. It would be during the days of David king of Israel that he would fight with his mighty men and conquer and subdue the nations and kingdoms round about the nation of Israel.
I am absolutely and completely convinced that if you want to truly understand the words and language that are found in this passage of Scripture you need to turn and direct your attention back to the words which are found in the Old Testament book of Genesis. It is within the Old Testament book of Genesis where you not only find Lot who was the nephew of Abraham taken captive and hostage by the kings of the plain but you will also find Abraham—a man who had up until that time never waged warfare against enemies rising up against the kings of the plain to rescue his nephew Lot and those who had been taken captive by them. In all reality there is something truly astonishing about Abraham coming to the rescue of his nephew Lot having been taken captive by the kings of the plain for if you read and study the history of the children of Israel you will notice that the living God raised up Moses to bring deliverance for the people of God in the midst of their slavery, their bondage and oppression within the land of Egypt. It would be the living God who would send ten plagues and judgments against and upon the land of Egypt and against all the people and land within Egypt. What’s more is that in the generation of Joshua you will find him leading the people of Israel in conquest of the land of Canaan. In fact there is an entire chapter in the Old Testament book of Joshua dedicated to the names of the kings whom Joshua and the children of Israel slaughtered. What’s more is that there is a powerful description of just what Joshua did to the kings of the land of Canaan as he led the children of Israel through the land after the living God parted the waters of the Red Sea.
I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding the conquest of the land of Canaan and how while Joshua and the children of Israel marched through the land they would conquer and subdue the kings and armies which were present in the land. Despite the fact that the ten spies who joined Joshua and Caleb in scouting out the promised land tried to discourage the children of Israel from going up and entering into the land of Canaan their children would rise up and not only enter into the land but also conquer and subdue kings, enemies and adversaries which were present in the land. What’s more is there were a total of thirty-one kings in the land of Canaan whom Joshua and the children of Israel exercised dominion and authority as they conquered and subdued the land. Although the LORD had parted the water of the Jordan River effectively unlocking and opening the door for them to enter into the land of Canaan there was still much work which needed to be done. The children of Israel would enter into the land of Canaan and would have to almost immediately engage themselves in warfare and conflict as they would need to march against and subdue the kings, enemies, nations and adversaries which were present in the midst of the land itself. Although the land was given unto them as an inheritance and possession the only way they would be able to truly take possession of the land was to conquer the enemies and adversaries which were within. Oh this would be something we must needs recognize and understand for there is a vast and fundamental difference between Joshua and David—namely that Joshua led the children of Israel against the enemies within while David led the children of Israel against the enemies without.
The more I think about the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding the strong and powerful contrast between conquering those enemies and adversaries within and those enemies and adversaries without. There is something truly astonishing and powerful when you think about and consider the words which are found in the Old Testament—particularly and especially when you consider the narratives of Joshua and David. It would be Joshua who led the army of Israel against the nations, enemies and adversaries within the Promised Land that they might take possession of it while David would lead the army of Israel and his mighty men against the enemies, kings and adversaries round about the nation of Israel. What’s more is that in between Joshua and David there would be a period of intense affliction and oppression that would take place among the children of Israel—not only from those enemies which were permitted to remain in the land of Canaan but also from enemies and adversaries round about them. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for while it is indeed true we as the people of God must needs be those who conquer the enemies and adversaries within as well as without there is also the need for us to walk in obedience and righteousness in His sight. It was when the children of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD He would deliver and give them into the hands of their enemies that they might be subject and serve them. Moreover there was a pattern in the Old Testament book of Judges when the children of Israel would do that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, He would deliver them into the hands of their enemies and adversaries, they would serve their enemies and adversaries and would cry out unto the LORD. As a direct result of their crying out to the LORD he would raise up a judge or deliverer who would deliver them out of the hands of their enemies.
I firmly believe that if we want to understand the narrative of Joshua, the narrative of David and even the narrative of Jesus who was the ultimate conqueror and vanquisher of enemies and adversaries we must needs consider the Old Testament narrative concerning Abraham. It was Abraham who slaughtered the kings of the plain when he rescued his nephew Lot. It was Joshua who led the children of Israel against the kings, nations and enemies within the land of Canaan that they conquer, subdue and possess the land. It would be David who would lead the army of Israel and the mighty men against the kings, the nations and the enemies round about the kingdom of Israel that the people of God might have rest from all their enemies round about them. What’s more is that when you consider the narrative of the Lord Jesus you will find that He conquered and subdued spiritual and supernatural enemies during those three and a half years He walked upon the earth as the Word made flesh visible among us. For three and a half years He conquered and subdued demons and unclean spirits who would take possession of men, women and children delivering as he would go along. What’s more is that when you consider the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the epistle written unto the Colossian saints you will find him writing concerning the Lord Jesus and how He spoiled principalities and powers through his death upon the cross of Calvary. Both David and Joshua engaged themselves against earthly and natural enemies and adversaries in the physical realm while it was the Lord Jesus Christ who not only engaged spiritual and supernatural enemies but also vanquished and triumphed over them—a reality which the author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews wrote in the second chapter as well as which the apostle John writes in the first of his three epistles.
It is with all of this being said I invite you to consider if you will the following words which are found in the Old Testament book of Genesis. It is in the Old Testament book of Genesis we are brought face to face with the captivity of the nephew of Abraham—Lot—and his decision to divide his men that they might engage the kings of the plain that he might rescue his nephew Lot. This conquest of the kings of the plain is precisely what the author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews wrote and spoke of in the seventh chapter as they would set the stage for the knowledge of Melchizedek the high priest and the Lord Jesus who was the ultimate high priest. With this being said I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the Old Testament book of Genesis concerning the captivity of Lot and the rescue mission Abraham would engage himself and his servants in to conquer these kings in the Promised Land:
“And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations; that these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar. All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea. Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and int eh thirteenth year they rebelled. And in the fourteenth year came Chdorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim, and the Horites in their mount Seir, unto El-paran, which is by the wilderness. And they returned and came to En-mishpat, which is Kadesh and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezon0tamar. And there went out the king of Sodom, and the kings of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim; With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tial king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasa; four kings with five. And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain. And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eschol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram. And when Abraham heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people” (Genesis 14:1-16).
We have a great need to recognize and understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for Lot was one who had chosen the fertile area of the Jordan Valley and the plain as the place he would dwell and sojourn. Eventually and ultimately Lot would dwell in the midst of Sodom and would settle in the midst of this crooked and perverse city with its vile and wicked people. Eventually, however, Lot would become a prisoner and casualty of war when war and conflict would break out between the kings outside the land of Canaan and the kings which were present within. The kings which were present in the land of Canaan would attempt to flee from their presence and some would fall into the slimepits which were present in the midst of the land while others would flee into the mountains. Lot who was Abraham’s nephew would be taken captive by them as they marched through the land of Canaan conquering and subduing as they went. What makes this truly interesting when you think about it is that even during the days of Abraham the kings of the nations round about the land of Canaan sought to conquer and subdue those within. For twelve years the kings within the land would serve the kings of the nations, however, it would be in the thirteenth year they would rebel against them. As a direct result of their rebellion against the kings of the nations those kings would march up against them that they might conquer and subdue them. This is something we have great need of recognizing and understanding for it helps us to understand just how significant Abraham’s actions were. Abraham would take a total of three hundred and eighteen of his trained servants and would pursue the kings of the nations unto Dan and would come upon and smite them by night. Not only would Abraham accomplish this but he would also recover all the goods, and bring back his brother Lot, and his good, and the women also, and the people.
What we must needs recognize and understand concerning this is that David the son of Jesse would also find himself in a similar situation while fleeing from Saul king of Israel. If you turn and direct your attention to the words which are found in the thirtieth chapter of the Old Testament book of First Samuel you will find the Amalekites raiding Ziklag where David, his men, their women and their children were dwelling. While David and his mighty men were out engaging themselves in raids against the enemies and adversaries the Amalekites would come upon Ziklag, burn it to the ground and take captive the women and the children together with the goods. When David and his men returned from their raids they would witness the devastation and destruction the enemy and adversary had wrought against them and their families. Scripture is actually quite unique when you take the time to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for at first David’s men thought to stone him because of the sorrow and anguish that was present within their hearts and souls over their wives and children. Scripture reveals how David encouraged himself in the Lord and how the Lord would give him the green light to rise up and pursue the Amalekites. Much of the thirtieth chapter is about David and his mighty men pursuing the Amalekites—and not only pursuing them but also recovering everything they had stolen from them. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the thirtieth chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis beginning with the first verse:
“And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; and had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great ore small, but carried them away, and went on their way. So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. And David inquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? Shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all. So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and came to the book Besor, where those that were left behind stayed. But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred abode behind, which were so faint that they could not go over the brook Besor” (1 Samuel 30:1-10).
“And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water; and they gave him a piece of cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him: for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights. And David said unto him, To whom belongest thou? And whence art thou? And he said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days agone I fell sick. We made an invasion upon the south of the Cherethites, and upon the coast which belongeth to Judah, and upon the south of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire. And David said to him, Canst thou bring me down to this company? And he said, Swear to me by God, that thou wilt neither kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring thee down to this company. And when he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah. And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped noa. Man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled. And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all. And David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drave before those other cattle, and said, This is David’s spoil” (1 Samuel 30:11-20).
The words which we find here in this passage of Scripture are absolutely incredible when you take the time to think about them for within it we find David who was a descendant of Abraham doing the very same thing Abraham did. Abraham had three-hundred and eighteen men whom he divided that he might overtake and spoil the kings of the nations in the night. David would have had six hundred men who would have come with him and fought the Amalekites, however, two hundred of them were so faint they could not cross the brook. Instead of engaging the Amalekites with six hundred men he would engage them with only three hundred men. What I so love about each of these narratives is that not only did Abraham and David engage the enemies and adversaries but they did so with an army of men behind them. This reality and concept takes on a whole different meaning when you consider the days of the judges in the nation of Israel and specifically Gideon sought to engage the Midianites who had oppressed and come against the children of Israel. Initially and originally Gideon had thousands of men who would be presumed to fight alongside him against the enemies and adversaries of the nation of Israel. Eventually, however, the living God of Abraham, of Isaac and Jacob would give Gideon a series of tests which would dwindle the army that would fight with him to just three hundred men. What makes all of this all the more intriguing is when you consider the words which the living God declared unto the children of Israel concerning one being able to put a thousand and two being able to put ten thousand to flight. If one can put two hundred to flight and two could put ten thousand to flight then consider how many three hundred could put to flight during the days of Gideon. Consider how many three hundred and eighteen could put to flight during Abraham’s generation. Not only this but consider how many four-hundred could put to flight during the days of David.
With this being said I invite you consider the words found in Scripture concerning one putting a thousand to flight and two putting ten thousand to flight. Not only this but I invite you to consider the narrative of Gideon and the three-hundred men who fought with him to overtake and destroy the Midianite army:
“If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you. And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new. And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright” (Leviticus 26:3-13).
“How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up? For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges” (Deuteronomy 32:30-31).
Now consider if you will the words and language which is found in the seventh chapter of the Old Testament book of Judges concerning Gideon and the army of twenty-thousand he initially had to engage the Midianites and how the LORD of hosts Himself dwindled it down to just three-hundred men. Pause for a moment and consider three hundred men against a host and army of enemies and adversaries which oppressed the children of Israel and the people of God. What’s more is consider the fact that the narrative would indeed demonstrate that three hundred would indeed be enough to overtake and spoil this oppressor of the people of God:
“Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves gainst me, saying, mine own hand saved me. Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. And the LORD said unto Gideon, by the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place. So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of the Midian was beneath him in the valley” (Judges 7:1-8).
“And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand. But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host: And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengtehened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host. And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude. And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along. And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host. And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian. And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers. And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do. When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands. And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD and of Gideon. And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled. And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man’s sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Beth-shittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abel-meholah, unto Tabbath. And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites” (Judges 7:9-23).
“And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Beth-barah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Beth-barah and Jordan. And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan” (Judges 7:24-25).
It’s truly astonishing and interesting when you consider the narrative of Gideon in light of that of David and Abraham for Abraham would initially be the forefather of warfare and conflict in the land of Canaan. In fact I can’t help but consider the narrative of Abraham’s warfare and conflict against the kings of the nations as a prelude and portent of the battles, the struggles and the conflicts his descendants would engage themselves in during future generations. It would be Joshua who would lead the children of Israel across the Jordan River into the land of Canaan in battle and conflict against the nations, the enemies, the adversaries and the kings of the nations within the land. Not only this but there is an entire chapter in the Old Testament book of Joshua that is entirely and altogether dedicated to the slaughter of the kings—something that is indeed parallel to that which is found in the fourteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis as well as the seventh chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews. We dare not overlook this for just as Abraham would take three-hundred and eighteen trained servants in his house and divided them in the night to overtake and spoil the kings of the nations so also would the LORD dwindle the army of twenty-thousand men Gideon would have to engage the Midianites to a mere three-hundred men. Abraham would engage the kings of the nations with just over three hundred men while Gideon would engage the Midianites with exactly three hundred men. What’s more is David himself engaged the Amalekites with four hundred men after they had raided their home in Ziklag, burned it to the ground and carried away their women, children and spoils. Oh it is with this being said I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the Old Testament book of Joshua concerning another “slaughter of the kings” as we find a powerful description of the kings which Joshua and the army of Israel slaughtered in their conquest of the land of Canaan:
“And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal. But these five kings fled, and hid themselves in a cave at makkedah. And it was told Joshua, saying, The five kings are found hid in a cave at Makkeda. And Joshua said, Roll great stones upon the mouth of the cave, and set men by it for to keep them: and stay ye not, but pursue after your enemies, and smite the hindmost of them; suffer them not to enter into their cities: for the LORD your God hath delivered them into your hand. And it came to pass, when Joshua and the children of Israel had made an end of slaying them with a very great slaughter, till they were consumed, that the rest which remained of them entered into fenced cities. And all the people returned to the camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace: none moved his tongue against any of the children of Israel. Then said Joshua, Open the mouth of the cave, and bring out those five kings unto me out of the cave. And they did so, and brought forth those fi ve kings unto him out of the cave, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon. And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them. And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight. And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening. And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, that Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees, and cast them into the cave wherein they had been hid, and laid great stones in the cave’s mouth, which remain until this very day” (Joshua 10:15-27).
“So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded. And Joshua smote them from Kadesh-barnea even unto Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon. And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel. And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp of Gilgal” (Joshua 10:40-43).
“And the LORD said unto Joshau, Be not afraid because of them: for to morrow about this time will I deliver them up all slain before Israel: thou shalt hough their horses, and burn their chariots with fire. So Joshua came, and all the people of war with him, against them by the waters of Merom suddenly; and they fell upon them. And the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them, and chased them unto great Zidon, and unto Misrepoth-maim, and unto the valley of Mizpeh eastward; and they smote them, until they left them none remaining. And Joshua did unto them as the LORD bade him: he houghed their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire. And Joshua at that time turned back, and took Hazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword: for Hazor beforetime was the head of all those kingdoms. And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them: there was not any left to breath: and he burnt Hazor with fire. And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and smote them with the edge of the sword, and he utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the LORD commanded. But as for the cities that stood still in their strength, Israel burned none of them, save Hazor only; that did Joshua burn. And all the spoil of these cities, and the cattle, the children of Israel took for a prey unto themselves; but every man they smote with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them, neither left they any to breathe. As the LORD commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses. So Joshua took all that land, the hills, and all the south country, and all the land of Goshen, and the valley, and the plain, and the mountain of Israel, and the valley of the same; Even from the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir, even unto Baal-gad int eh valley of Lebanon under mount Hermon: and all their kings he took, and smote them, and slew them. Joshua made war a long time with all those kings. There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gibeon: all other they took in battle. For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses. And at that time came Joshua, and cut off the Anakims from the mountains, afrom Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel: Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities. There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there remained. So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war” (Joshua 11:6-23).
I recognize that these passages of Scripture are not the references to the kings which Joshua slaughtered during his conquest of the land of Canaan, however, I am absolutely convinced it is necessary to recognize and understand what is contained therein as a precursor for what we do find in the twelfth chapter. It is in the twelfth chapter of this Old Testament book we do in fact find the narrative of the kings of the land which Joshua smote during his conquest of the Promised Land. This is indeed something we must needs recognize and understand for when we consider the words which are found in the seventh chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews we find Abraham encountering Melchizedek the king of Salem and priest of the most High God after the slaughter of the kings of nations. Abraham was indeed the patriarch of the faith of the children of Israel as well as the heritage and lineage of the nation and people, however, Abraham would not be the only one who would slaughter the kings of the nations. In fact I would dare say that just as Levi tithed unto Melchizedek while still being in the loins of Abraham so also did Joshua slaughter the kings of the nations while still in the loins of Abraham. TITHE AND TRIUMPH! Oh in all reality I can’t help but see in this passage of Scripture found within the seventh chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews a powerful picture of the tithe of the spoils of warfare as well as the triumph of warfare. Abraham not only triumphed over the kings of the nations but also tithed of the spoils unto the king of Salem and priest of the most High God. With this being said we must needs recognize that Levi himself tithed unto this priest of the most High God while in the loins of Abraham just as Joshua slaughtered the kings of the nations while in the loins of Abraham.
Having said this I now invite you to consider the following words which are found in the twelfth chapter of the Old Testament book of Joshua beginning to read with and from the first verse of the chapter:
“Now these are the kings of the land, which the children of Israel smote, and possessed their land on the other side Jordan toward the rising sun, from the river Arnon unto the mount Hermon, and all the plain on the east: Sihon king of Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon, and ruled from Aroer, which is upon the bank of the river Arnon, and from the middle of the river, and from half Gilead, even unto the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon; and from the plain to the sea of Chinneroth on the east, and unto the sea of the plain, even the salt sea on the east, the way to Beth-jeshimoth; and from the south, under Ashdoth-pisgah: and the coast of Og king of Bashan, which was of the remnant of the giants, that dwelt at Ashtaroth and at Edrei, and reigned in mount Hermon, and in Salcah, and in all Bashan, unto the border of the Geshurites and the Maachathites, and half Gilead, the border of Sihon king of Heshbon. Them did Moses the servant of the LORD and the children of Israel smite: and Moses the servant of the LORD gave it for a possession unto the Reubenintes, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh” (Joshua 12:1-6).
“And these are the kings of the country which Joshua and the children of Israel smote on this side Jordan on the west, from Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon even unto mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir; which Joshua gave unto the tribes of Israel for a possession according to their divisions; in the mountains, and in the valleys, and in the plains, and in the springs, and in the wilderness, and in the south country; the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: The king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which is beside Beth-el, one; The king of Jerusalem, one; the king of Hebron, one; The king of Jarmuth, one; the king of Lachish, one; the king of Eglon, one; the king of Gezer, one; the king of Debir, one; the king of Adullam, one; the king of Makkeda, one; the king of Beth-el, one; the king of Tappuah, one; the king of Hepher, one; the king of Aphek, one; the king of Lasharon, one; the king of Madon, one; the king of Hazor, one; the king of Shimron-meron, one; the king of Achshaph, one; the king of Taanach, one; the king of Megiddo, one; the king of Kedesh, one; the king of Jokneam of Carmel, one; the king of Dor in the coast of Dor, one; the king of the nations of Gilgal, one; the king of Tirzah, one; all the kings thirty and one” (Joshua 12:7-24).
I cannot help but read the words which are found in the seventh chapter of the epistle written unto the Hebrews and encounter and come face to face with Abraham’s meeting and coming unto Melchizedek the king of Salem and priest of the most High God after returning from the slaughter of the kings. Upon meeting and seeing this priest of the most High God Abraham would tithe a tenth part of all the spoils which he had captured and seized as a result of this conquest and conflict. In the seventh chapter of this epistle we find the author writing and speaking of this king of Salem as being interpreted King of righteousness and after that also the King of Salem which is the King of peace who was without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life but was made like unto the Son of God and abode a priest continually. Oh there is something incredibly powerful about the words which are found in the seventh chapter—not only when speaking of the triumph of Abraham over the kings of the nations but also of the tithe given unto one who was made like unto the Son of God. THE SPOILS BELONG TO KING! THE BATTLE BELONGS TO THE KING! THE VICTORY BELONGS TO THE KING! This is indeed something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of when reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for when we read the words contained in this passage of Scripture we are brought face to face with the awesome truth surrounding the battle belonging to the King, the victory and triumph belonging to the King and even the spoils themselves belonging to the King. Scripture is unclear what Abraham thought when he encountered this Melchizedek after slaughtering the kings of the nations, however, we do know that he felt compelled to give unto him a tenth of the spoil he had seized from the battle and conflict.
If there are indeed two distinct lessons and truths we must glean from this passage of Scripture they are related to the tithe and triumph. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular truth when reading and considering the words found in this passage of Scripture. The words which we find here bring us face to face with the awesome and incredible truth concerning the triumph of Abraham—and not only the triumph of Abraham but how Abraham’s triumph would lead and pave the way for the triumph of Moses on the east side of the Jordan, the triumph of Joshua on the west side of the Jordan, the triumph of men like Gideon, Jephthah and Samson, as well as the triumph of David during the days of his reign and generation. There is a truly awesome and powerful truth which must be recognized when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture concerning the triumph of Abraham being the triumph of those who would come after him—from Moses and Joshua to the judges of Israel to Samuel and to David. Abraham’s triumph would not only lead and pave the way for the triumphs of those who would come after him but those who would come after him essentially triumphed with Abraham still being in his loins. This is something which must needs be considered for when we enter into this passage of Scripture we must needs recognize that while the triumph of Abraham meant and would be the triumph of those who would come after him so also would the triumph of the Lord Jesus be the triumph of those who came after Him. The Lord Jesus would triumph over the enemy and adversary as he would destroy he who had the power of death—that is, the devil. Moreover the Lord Jesus would spoil principalities and powers making a spectacle and show of them upon the cross of Calvary.
As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the awesome and incredible truth surrounding the triumph of Abraham as well as the tithe of Abraham. Abraham would indeed triumph over the kings of the nations—and not only triumph over them but also recover everything that was taken and would take great spoil. Abraham would indeed triumph over the kings of the nations and would take a great spoil—a spoil of which he would give a tenth unto this king of Righteousness, this king of Peace and this one who was made like unto the Son of God. Abraham would indeed slaughter the kings of the nations and experience a great triumph over them and that triumph would not only pave the way for the triumph in the land as well as the triumph around and outside the land but it would also pave the way for the triumph of those who would come after him and would engage the enemy and adversary. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for there is something truly special about Abraham’s triumph over the enemy and adversary within the land of Canaan and it’s being a powerful portent and sign for those who would come after and would themselves engage the enemies and adversaries in their own generation. Not only this but we must needs recognize that with each generation would come enemies and adversaries. Some enemies and adversaries would be those which previous generations faced while other enemies and adversaries would be entirely new ones which would be manifested and present during those days. Oh please pay close attention to this for I am convinced that within each generation there is not only the confrontation of old enemies and adversaries which have been around since previous generations but there will also be new enemies and adversaries which can and will rise up in the midst of those generations. This is something we must needs acknowledge and recognize when considering the narrative of Abraham for from the time of Abraham unto the time of Moses, the time of Joshua, the time of the judges and even the time of Samuel and David there would be enemies and adversaries which were indeed present in previous generations and enemies which would be entirely new in those generations.
I am absolutely convinced that just as Abraham’s triumph would pave the way for the triumph of those who came after him and would be the triumph of his descendants so also would the triumph of the eternal and only begotten Son of God be the triumph of those who would come after him. Just as Abraham’s triumph over the kings of the nations would pave the way and be the precursor for the triumph of his descendants over the kings of the nations within the Promised Land as well as outside the Promised Land so also would the triumph of the Lord Jesus be the triumph of those who would come after Him. In fact the words which are found in the final chapters of the New Testament gospel narratives written by the apostle Matthew, the physician Luke and John Mark demonstrate the triumph of the Lord Jesus Christ and how because He triumphed—not only can we triumph but we also must needs triumph over our enemies and adversaries. In fact I would dare say that the only reason we triumph and the only reason we can triumph over our enemies and adversaries is because the Lord Jesus triumphed first. What’s more is that Jesus demonstrated this triumph over sickness and disease during those three and a half years of public ministry. Jesus demonstrated this triumph over demons and unclean spirits during those three years when He bound and cast them out of those whom they oppressed and possessed. Jesus demonstrated his triumph over death by raising up Jairus’ daughter from death to life, by raising up the widow’s only son from death, by raising Lazarus up from the dead and even by His own rising from the dead. Oh that we would recognize and understand this for just as Abraham’s triumph would be the triumph of those who would come after him so also would the triumph of the Lord Jesus who Himself took on the seed of Abraham be the triumph of those who would come after Him.
When I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture I can’t help but be brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding the triumph and tithe of Abraham and how the triumph and tithe belong to God. At the end of it all the triumph and tithe of Abraham, the tithe and triumph of Joshua, the tithe and triumph of Moses, the tithe and triumph of David, and even the tithe and triumph of the Lord Jesus all belong to the living God. We must needs recognize and understand that the triumph itself belongs to the living God just as much as the battle itself belongs to the living God. We know from Scripture that the battle belongs to the living God, however, we must also recognize and understand that the triumph and victory belongs to the living God as well. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for to do so would be to miss out on the incredible truth which is found within our hearts and our lives. Just as the battle belongs to the LORD so also does the triumph itself belong to the LORD for it is He alone who not only teaches and trains our hands for war but who also gives us the victory. What’s more is the spoils which are manifested as a result of both the battle and the triumph belong unto the Lord Jesus Christ. Through the death of the Lord Jesus as well as His resurrection from the dead all of His enemies were placed under His feet. What’s more is the nations of the earth are indeed reserved as an inheritance for the eternal and only begotten Son of God. With this being said, however, we must needs recognize and understand that the triumph of the battle and the tithe of the spoils belongs unto the living God. THE TRIUMPH OF THE BATTLE & THE TITHE OF THE SPOILS! Oh there is something truly wonderful and powerful about the words which are found in the seventh chapter of the epistle written unto the Hebrews for within it we are brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the triumph of the battle and the tithe of the spoils and how both belong unto the living and eternal God. It is with this in mind I leave you with the following words which David wrote in the eighteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms:
“For how is God save the LORD? OR who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip. I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed. I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet. For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me. They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not. Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets. Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me. As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me. The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places. The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me. He delivereth me from mine enemies: Yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: that hast delivered me from the violent man. Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name. Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore” (Psalm 18:31-50).