Enough was enough!
For twelve years they had been subject to an enemy king – but, now things were going to change. Banding together, the five kings of the cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zebolim and Zoar mutinied against the king of Elam. For one year they successfully rebelled against him, but in the 14th year, the king of Elam and his allies (kings of Shinar, Ellasar and Golim)) went on a battle campaign conquering much of the surrounding area.
Finally, they drew up battle lines against the five dissenter kings in the valley of Siddim.
It was time to teach this rebellious rabble a lesson.
A battle of four kings verses five kings clashed through the countryside. It wasn’t long before the faction of five kings found themselves outmaneuvered and they fled.
Now the topography of the Valley of Siddim had was mottled with many tar pits, and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled some of their soldiers fell into these pits. The rest of the army fled to the hills.
This left the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah without defenders, and the four conquering kings seized all the goods and people from these two cities.
Included in the captive list was a man by the name of Lot, nephew to Abram (this is before his name was changed to Abraham)…
Who was the friend of God.
One of the escapees ran to Abram’s camp and told him the news.
During the night Abram called out the 318 trained men in his camp. They made a rescue plan and pursued the conquering kings.
And you know what?
Abram and his band of 318 men routed those mighty kings. They chased the kings all the way to a city called Hobah, and then recovered all the goods and the captives – including Abram’s nephew Lot.
When Abram returned, the king of Sodom came out of hiding and met Abram in place called the King’s Valley.
Another king came to meet Abram as well.
The king of Salem, named Melchizedek, was a priest of God Most High. He blessed Abram saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hands.” (This account is taken from Genesis 14:1 – 22)
This Christmas season I have been reflecting on the verse “And His name will be called Immanuel, which means ‘God with us’” (Matthew 1:23), and I decided to take a journey through the names of God to reflect on the character of God, who is with us.
In these words spoken by Melchizedek, priest of the Most High, another name of God is made known and some of His character is revealed.
El Elyon – God Most High.
As God Most High, He is the Creator.
As El Elyon, God Most High, He is creator of heaven and earth. In Hebrews 11:2 we find out that by faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
Imagine just for a moment the authority behind a voice so powerful that He simply speaks and that which never before existed…
God didn’t have to go out and purchase a construction materials list.
He spoke with authority and the world teeming with life came into being. Perfect, complete and without error.
As God Most High, He is the Deliverer.
Abram had only 318 men, yet he was able to route the band of four mighty kings, who until that time were undefeated in battle.
How did this happen?
Because the hand of God Most High was on him, and for all the strength those kings had, they were not higher in authority or strength than God Most High.
As God Most High, He blesses His people.
When Melchizedek comes to Abram, the first words he speaks are “Blessed be Abram by God Most High.” God’s divine favor was on Abram.
As God Most High, He is worthy of praise.
Melchizedek also said, “Blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hands.” God Most High, who had created heaven and earth by the authority and power of His words, was not uninvolved in the lives of the people He created. He was actively involved in Abram’s life and had delivered his enemies into his hands.
Woven into the words of “blessed be God Most High” is the idea of kneeling before the One who is higher and above all to bestow praise and adoration upon Him for who He is and what He has done.
As I reflect on these truths of God Most High I cannot help but be reminded that He is the God who does not change, for in the Christmas story are woven these same aspects of His character.
- As God Most High, He is the Creator of a rescue plan to redeem His people from the Kingdom of Darkness. The cost to enact this plan would be great, but because of His great love for us, God – who is rich in mercy – would give His only Son, born as a baby in a manger, to be crushed and pierced for our sins. The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds, we are healed, even though we are as sheep who go astray. (Isaiah 53:5, 6)
- As God Most High, He is our Deliverer and our Redeemer. He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13, 14)
- As God Most High, He blesses His people. Not only did He bless us with the free gift of salvation for all who believe on the name of Jesus, but He also blesses us with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). He has given to us all that we need for life and godliness (2. Peter 1:3), He is preparing a place for us in heaven where He is (John 14:1 – 4) and there He is keeping an inheritance for us that cannot perish, spoil or fade. (1. Peter 1:4)
- As God Most High, He is worthy of all praise for His plan of redemption and His goodness in our lives. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. As our Shepherd, He is actively involved in the details of our lives (Psalm 23). His love for us endures forever and His faithfulness continues to all generations (Psalm 100).
He is El Elyon, God Most High.
The God who blesses His people.
The God who is worthy to be blessed by His people.
This is Immanuel, our God who is with us.