Hebrews Study: God’s Love for Jerusalem, the Holy City :: By Sean Gooding

Hebrews Study: God’s Love for Jerusalem, the Holy City :: By Sean Gooding

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Hebrews 7: 4-10

“For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Highest God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated ‘king of righteousness,’ and then also king of Salem, meaning ‘king of peace,’ 3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually. 4 Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils.

5 And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham; 6 but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 7 Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better. 8 Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives. 9 Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.”

I pray that you are enjoying and learning, or maybe if you already knew, re-affirming the truths of the Scripture. The Bible is this intricately woven volume of 66 books, about 40 writers from all walks of life and history, written over the course of about 1,500 years; yet the theme and the story threads are consistent and followable. In this case, we are looking at a character that is seldom mentioned, but He is found in both the Old and New Testaments, and there are some curious things said about Him. Last week, we looked at a few of those things. This King, Melchizedek, whose name is translated as both King of Righteousness and King of Peace, is described in verse 3 this way:

“Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.”

This man has no beginning and no end of life. This sounds a lot like God, who has no beginning and no end. Further, we are told that He resembles the Son of God (NIV) and is like the Son of God (NKJV). This man whom Abraham met, whom Abraham worshipped and to whom Abraham paid tithes, was and is God, the Son of God. Jesus, then, was the King of Salem before Abraham was called out of Iraq to begin the nation of Israel. Let us look at some other scriptures about Jerusalem that offer us a look at how God sees this Holy City.

  • God’s love for Jerusalem, Ezekiel 16:1-8

I encourage you to read Ezekiel 16 and see the way that God expresses Himself here about this city. But here are the first eight verses:

“The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her detestable practices and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Jerusalem: Your ancestry and birth were in the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths. No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised.

“Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, ‘Live!’ I made you grow like a plant of the field. You grew and developed and entered puberty. Your breasts had formed and your hair had grown, yet you were stark naked. Later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your naked body. I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine.”

God loves Jerusalem. Jesus rules in Salem, later to be called Jerusalem, and it is no accident that Jesus died in Jerusalem, He was buried in Jerusalem, and one day soon, He will return to retake the city that God loves, that God cared for and nurtured, the city that is God’s city on earth. The place that is the very epicenter of the end times and the short-lived center of Satan’s empire here on earth. Even the devil knows how important the city of Jerusalem is, and he is actively seeking to secure it for himself. One day, he will defile the new temple and command the world to worship him and not God (see Revelation 13).

It is no accident that Israel was resurrected from the dead on May 14th, 1948, and no accident that God gave them back Jerusalem in the Six-Day war in the mid-1960s. Jerusalem was God’s long before anyone else had it, and according to Ezekiel 16:8, God gave them a “solemn oath” (NIV) and entered into a covenant; this is like the marriage covenant. Notice the phrase, “I spread the cover of my garment over you.” This is an act of love and proposal of marriage. We see this act repeated in the book of Ruth between Boaz and Ruth when he intends to marry her, Ruth 3: 7-9,

“When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet! ‘Who are you?’ he asked. ‘I am your servant Ruth,’ she said. ‘Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family.'”

As we know, Boaz went the very next day and redeemed Ruth, married her, and had a son named Obed. But you can see this act of covering was an act of love and marriage. God loves Jerusalem, and she is an integral part of the end times. In Joel 3:1-2, God promises to enter into judgment with all those who have touched His nation, and He will deal harshly with them. God’s people should always be praying for Jerusalem and be aware of what is happening with her.

Melchizedek, King of Salem, King of Peace, King of Righteousness, High priest of God, Son of God – is he your King? Is He your Peace? Is he your Righteousness? Is he your High Priest? Is he your God? One day soon, we will meet Melchizedek. Are you ready to meet him?

God bless you,

Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church

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