“You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110:4).
For most of three decades, millions of Americans enjoyed listening each weekday to a velvety voice that made little known facts about history come to life. Paul Harvey’s The Rest of the Story often presented forgotten pieces from the lives of famous people. He would with- hold their names until the end of the broadcast, after which he would say, “And now you know the rest of the story.”
As a lover of history, Harvey told tales of both celebrated and not-so- known folks who made a difference in our world, often in quiet ways. The backstories he shared in his mid-American accent left you hanging until the end. It’s classic radio at its nostalgic best.
An interesting Bible character shows up during the time of Abraham, a figure who seems to sweep into the room and then mysteriously disappears. Of all the personages in Scripture, many have wished to know the rest of the story about a king-priest named Melchizedek.
After returning from the successful defeat of King Chedorlaomer, Abraham stopped to pay tithe to the king of Salem (later Jerusalem) and priest of the Most High God. He presented bread and wine to Abraham and his weary men. Melchizedek blessed him and praised God for his victory, then seemed to disappear. Just a few short verses are given to this man. How did he show up in Canaan? We don’t know.
Psalm 110 presents Melchizedek as a type of the Messiah. The book of Hebrews repeats the same theme. Many guesses have been made about his origins. Was he one of Noah’s sons who could have still been alive during the time of Abraham? The Bible is silent.
Melchizedek’s unique king-priest role foreshadowed the special work of Christ as our true high priest and eternal king. Just as this Old Testament priest appears to have no beginning or ending, so Jesus is our eternal high priest and king forever. The rest of this story is purposely hidden for it is this very secret that points us to the continual work of Christ.
Dear Jesus, You are my righteous king and priest. Thank You for Your continual work in the sanctuary above.
For Further Study: Genesis 14:18–20; Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 7:1–22